Volume 27/5 – 2017
Carlo Nobili targets sustainable growth Market consolidation for Elsan Elektrik Polwax invests in state-of-the-art plant
Europe’s steel giants join forces
Mind the Gap It seems that Britain’s success in achieving record levels of employment is not altogether a good thing.
he UK’s poor productivity growth over the last decade is one of the mysteries of modern times – right up there with failing to win the Eurovision Song Contest since 1997 (despite Britain’s pop rubbish being manifestly superior to all other European pop rubbish). It was never very good – before the 2008 crash it used to hover around 2 per cent a year but has been only around half that since. Most forecasters have been expecting a recovery any time soon but now the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has given up on its usual cheery optimism and reduced its figures for UK productivity growth by 0.5 per cent all the way through to 2022. Obviously this has serious consequences for overall GDP growth, government revenues and average earnings. Although since the OBR was established to stop governments giving away money they didn’t have – but hoped they might have – it did enable the Chancellor to resist calls for an end to ‘austerity’ in the budget. What’s particularly galling is that the UK seems to be doing so much worse than its direct competitors. Germany, France and the US all have higher productivity growth while the Nordic countries do nearly twice as well. One of the reasons is probably the UK’s poorer record of capital investment in both technology in industry and in public infrastructure. France, for example, has getting on for more than twice as many industrial robots in its factories and double the number of electric car charging points in its cities. However, it is a myth that Parisian taxi drivers and bar workers are robots that have been programmed to ignore foreigners – it’s just a cultural thing. It’s probably also true that a decade of interest rates close to zero has enabled many under-performing British enterprises – the socalled zombie companies – to hang on rather than going out of business and releasing resources and workers to be employed more
productively. Not to mention the distorting efforts of all that cheap money on asset bubbles and highly speculative investments (in unicorns rather than racehorses). Another problem is that a large part of the UK’s labour force is very poorly educated. Decades of low expectations and egalitarian wishful thinking have resulted in more than a quarter of British workers (or non-workers) falling below the international benchmarks for literacy and numeracy. That means they struggle to read the text on a bottle of cheap cider. It’s true that much has improved since Michael Gove, as education minister, took on the Blob, especially in London’s schools, but beyond the M25 there are still too many cities with a mostly unemployable underclass. So it’s a complex problem but one factor is evident to anyone who takes their car to be cleaned. Only a few years ago this took a few minutes in an automated car wash but today it’s often an entirely manual service delivered by a team of helpful chaps from somewhere near the Black Sea. All very convenient but it hardly represents an improved allocation of labour or capital resources. Everyone knows that the Blair government wanted to open up the UK to mass immigration – as the old joke has it, he didn’t much like the British working class so he decided to import a new one. But whatever the British themselves now think about this policy – and certainly Blair never cared to ask them during all those years – it was inevitable that adding all those workers to the economy (at least 4 million since 2000) would have consequences for levels of productivity. On the one hand it has given employers a huge resource of cheap, low-skilled, labour so they have less incentive to invest in laboursaving, productivity enhancing, capital equipment. Result – high employment, low wages. At the same time the availability of abundant skilled workers from abroad means that many employers can avoid the
cost of training UK workers. The NHS is not the only organisation that finds it cheaper to recruit from abroad than train up UK applicants for its jobs.
Dodgy numbers Of course it’s also possible that the grim forecasts for the UK are as unreliable as most other economic projections. Most economists have a hard time figuring out what happened last year never mind what will happen in the years to come. And productivity numbers are particularly suspect. Different countries have different ways of measuring growth – many put much more work into measuring the output of goods rather than of services, which are much harder to capture and which are much more important in the UK economy. And since the numbers relate to output per employed worker they are obviously more flattering to countries such as France, Spain and Italy where productivity has supposedly increased as mass unemployment has soared. No-one really believes that Italy is 9 per cent more productive than Britain. And how do you measure the productivity gains from the digital economy? Someone at Google has pointed out that in 2000 people took 80 billion photos that cost 50 cents each to process; today, with their smart phones and digital cameras, they take 1.6 trillion pictures at virtually zero cost. Nothing of that shows up in GDP numbers. And smart phones themselves are used as cameras, computers, maps, alarm clocks and audio and video players, but it’s the fall in the production of all those other devices that shows up in the output figures. Of course, by the time we get to the office and check our emails and text messages, our Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram threads and catch up with what our thousands of friends are doing on Facebook, we might not have n time to do much productive work at all. Industry Europe 1
CONTENTS Editorial Director Peter Mercer
Production Manager Tania Balderson
Editor Victoria Hattersley
Copy Manager Andrew Briggs
Administration Jess White
Profile Writers Romana Moares Barbara Rossi Dariusz Balcerzyk Edina Beale Philip Yorke Emma-Jane Batey Eugenia Fiusco Piotr Sadowski
Advertising Manager Stephen Moore Massimo Ragazzo Sector Managers Matthew Howe Milada Preslova Anna Dudek-Nocny Eniko Kovacs Marc Lewis Michael Hudson Oliver Clements Szidonia Hajdu
Art Director Rob Czerwinski Designer Leon Esterhuizen
1 Opinion Mind the Gap 5 Bill Jamieson Momentum amid the misery 6
Steel giants join forces Consolidation in Europe’s
9 Metals news The latest from the industry 12 A bridge further with 3D technology
Pioneering 3D-printed ‘smart’ bridge
14 Winning business New orders and contracts 16 Linking up Combining strengths 18 Moving on Relocations and expansions 19 Industry people Appointments 20 Technology spotlight Advances in technology 21 Notice board New products and processes
Reports 22 23
Focus on Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin Focus on France Ian Sparks reports from Paris
Agritechnica 26 31
Showcasing the future of crop technology AGRITECHNICA
Integrated solutions for agriculture Ro-Sys Software
IT Support Syed Hassan
32 Optimising automotive competence FKG 36 Customer-driven innovation GRAS
VDMA Process Plant and Equipment Industry Europe Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 779850 Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.industryeurope.net Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndustryEurope
© Industry Europe 2017 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. INDUSTRY EUROPE LTD.
A Square Root Company
2 Industry Europe
39 42 48
A voice for process equipment producers VDMA Process Plant and Equipment
Go with the flow Pentair Plant that grows Steuler Anlagenbau
Star performance Seco Group
Automation & Robotics
58 Optimising cool solenoids Amisco 62 Leader in packaging machinery solutions Comexi 66 High-performance precision Fidia 71 Pioneer in motion technology Schneeberger 74 Go with the flow IMI FAS 78 Pioneering new process-engineering technologies GEA 82 Strong brand Poclain Hydraulics 86 Fast-forwarding efficiency Eton Systems
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
89 Leading the way Ammann Group 92 Valued system supplier IDEAL Automotive 96 Memories on the move Niesmann + Bischoff 100 Sealed for success Federal-Mogul 105 Bright prospects Tecnomeccanica
Above: Seco Group p54
108 Engineered to innovate Lubrizol 112 Displaying paraffin’s hidden talents Polwax
Construction & Engineering
118 Expanding international profile ALUTECH Group 122 Concrete solutions Husqvarna 126 One step ahead Tarkett
Energy & Utilities Above: GRAS p36 Below: IMI FAS p74
131 Energy to change Wärtsilä 136 Long lasting power Budapest Erőmű
Food & Beverage
Above: Wärtsilä p131 Below: Sabaf p148
140 Cheese from the Tatra mountains Savencia Fromage & Dairy
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC 143 148 152 157
World-first in fitness tracking Jabra Committed to sustainable component precision Sabaf
Thriving business Grundfos Manufacturing Growth, quality and sustainability on tap Carlo Nobili
Logistics & Transport
162 166 172
Fast logistics, faster Flash Rolling on the right track NEWAG Flying high in airport handling systems Vanderlande Industries
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
178 High wire Elsan Elektrik 182 Your chosen partner in sheet metal manufacturing
Above: NEWAG p166 Below: TMK-Artrom p190
Above: Eton Systems p86 Below: Tecnomeccanica p105
Creating the stainless steels of tomorrow Outokumpu
Pioneering pipe and tube technologies TMK-Artrom
Paper, Packaging & Printing
194 Innovation at its core Sonoco Alcore
Textiles, Home & Personal Care
196 Pioneering bio-degradable, sustainable fabrics Yunsa
Also in this issue...
200 Reinforcing innovative adhesive solutions
204 Furniture for people Szynaka-Meble Industry Europe 3
Executive Editor of The Scotsman
Momentum amid the misery Amid all the media gloom about Brexit, UK industry is actually doing better than for years.
oll on 2018 – though it doesn’t feel like a roll, more a continuing slog through the Brexit goo and sludge. Rarely has there been such apprehension and uncertainty about our manufacturing prospects – but then, rarely has there been such a constitutional upheaval as our planned exit from the EU. Few imagined it would be so difficult or the negotiations so tortuous. And it has contributed mightily to a mood of despair and pessimism about the impact on UK industrial activity, manufacturing in particular. But has this been borne out by performance? The constant reminder that ‘the clock is ticking’ and we are on a countdown to departure has worked to intensify unease. And across much of the print and broadcast media there has been such a concentration of coverage on the pitfalls and potential losses as to border on the ghoulish. It’s going to be a car crash: let’s gather round and study every disastrous minute. When it comes to the UK manufacturing sector, we have cause to be on guard. It employs some 2.7 million people, contributes 10 per cent to Gross Value Added and accounts for 45 per cent of total exports. The EU is currently our biggest trading partner, accounting for some 44 per cent of the UK’s goods and services, while 53 per cent of our imports came from the EU. In the same year, UK exports to the EU were valued at £223 billion. There’s no lack of worry beads to click. While Brexit should provide greater flexibility for UK businesses to strike deals with lowcost suppliers in countries such as China, others are concerned that, post Brexit, tariffs will be imposed on UK goods and services. While sterling has fallen, making our exports cheaper, it has also made foreign product imports significantly more expensive. Possible restrictions of the free movement of people within the EU could create 4 Industry Europe
issues with the sourcing of labour in the manufacturing supply chain. Others fear that manufacturing businesses may find it harder to obtain finance from the banks in a post-Brexit Britain. Then there is geography: businesses not physically located within the EU may lose access to rights that are dependent upon them being established within an EU country. And finally there is the potential for changes to the regulatory and legal framework (much of this EU derived) within which companies currently operate. While the proposal is that many of these will be incorporated into UK law, there would be continuing political pressure for ‘gold-plating’.
The constant reminder that ‘the clock is ticking’ and we are on a countdown to departure has worked to intensify unease. Rising confidence Given all this, it would seem UK manufacturing is set for steepening decline – on top of a beleaguered performance through most of 2017. But in fact, we have been doing much better than the gloom-laden coverage has suggested. According to the widely respected Purchasing Managers Index survey measure for the sector, UK manufacturing is growing at one of the fastest rates in more than three years. Companies said that they had experienced especially strong growth in orders from Europe and America. The recent survey showed manufacturers remain optimistic, as the sharp fall in the pound has led to a rise in the number of
orders at home and abroad. Demand was also strong in the UK, leading business confidence among manufacturers to rise to one of the highest levels in more than a year. Nor was this a one-off, rogue survey. The latest monthly Confederation of British Industry (CBI) health check released in November showed order books for Britain’s factories are at their strongest for almost 30 years as the weak pound and global growth bolsters demand for manufactured goods. It said the climate for order books had not been better since August 1988 – when the boom of the late 1980s peaked. Food and drink firms and companies producing chemicals have experienced a particularly marked increase in demand. Export order books – helped by the fall in sterling – were the strongest since June 1995. The pickup in external demand has been led by the chemicals, electronics and transport sectors. The strength of the survey has boosted the chances of UK growth picking up from its modest pace of expansion in the first nine months of 2017. UK exports of goods and services rose 2.2 per cent to an all-time high of £51.6 billion in September and £50.4 billion in August. And what of exports to the EU? Among major trading partners, exports of goods to the EU grew 1.2 per cent in September compared with August, as sales increased mainly to France (7.3 per cent), the Netherlands (five per cent), Spain (4.4 per cent), Italy (1.3 per cent) and Germany (one per cent). Taking a quarterly view, exports to EU countries in the three months to September 2017 rose by £900 million. Let’s not gild the lily, or pretend that major uncertainties don’t lie ahead in 2018. We are set to enter – providing the current gridlock can be broken – a critical phase of negotiations covering UK trade with the EU. But the UK industrial sector is not without momentum n – or without reasonable hope.
Steel giants join forces As 2017 draws to a close, the European metals sector can reflect on a year in which long-anticipated deals consolidating the Continent’s steel industry finally came to fruition. Ben Hargreaves reports.
he big news, finally announced in September after more than a year of negotiations, was the merger of German steelmaker thyssenkrupp and the European operations of India’s Tata Steel. The combined company – thyssenkrupp Tata Steel – will have shipments of about 21 million tonnes a year, and create Europe’s second largest steelmaker, with the new venture to be headquartered in Amsterdam. Meanwhile Europe’s largest steelmaker has been busy doing deals of its own. ArcelorMittal announced a major acquisition to take over Italy’s Ilva works – Europe’s largest steel production site, whose plant at Taranto is equipped with five blast furnaces – in June, in a deal worth €1.8 billion. These moves mean that ArcelorMittal now has the capacity to produce about 60 million tonnes of steel a year.
Need for change Combined, ArcelorMittal and thyssenkrupp Tata Steel will now account for approximately 50 per cent of Europe’s steel output. Why is large-scale change necessary in the EU steel sector? The answer is that the 6 Industry Europe
industry has struggled with dealing with its environmental responsibilities, global overcapacity, access to raw materials, and energy costs. Europe’s share of global steel production declined to 10 per cent in 2016, and in general the sector in Europe has suffered since the global financial crisis, with each tonne of steel worth around €215 in 2008, but just €46/tonne in the first quarter of 2016, recovering to approximately €83/ tonne in the first quarter of this year. Producers in Europe have suffered from weakened demand since 2008, combined with a flood of low-cost imports from outside the EU. The impact of these fundamentals was keenly felt in the UK when Tata Steel announced a decision to pull out of its Port Talbot facility in Wales in the Spring of 2016, citing imports of Chinese steel, high energy costs, and weak demand as key factors. Although some of Tata Steel’s sites in Britain were sold off piecemeal, the Port Talbot facility, which employs 3500 people, survived thanks to a deal agreed to separate and reduce the company’s UK pension liabilities. That deal, thrashed out with unions and the Government, and approved by the British
pensions regulator in September, removed one of the major barriers to the merger of thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel. In a sign that the Port Talbot plant has a future as part of the new entity, Tata Steel announced a £30 million investment in the Port Talbot plant in November. Unions in the UK remain concerned about the impact of the merger on British jobs, but as prices have improved and the industry has moved to restructure, there have been signs of a tentative recovery in European steel production this year, with steelmakers on the Continent also returning to profitability. Production of steel is also up on last year. Within the EU, Italy’s crude steel production for October 2017 was 2.3 million tonnes, up by 6.1 per cent on October 2016, according to the latest data from the World Steel Association. France produced 1.4 million tonnes of crude steel in October 2017, an increase of 1.6 per cent compared to the same period last year, and Spain produced 1.3 million tonnes, an increase of 11.9 per cent on October 2016. Turkey’s crude steel production for October 2017 was also at 3.3 million tonnes, up 11.1 per cent on October 2016.
Global usage of capacity by the 66 countries that report to the World Steel Association was 3 per cent higher in October than in the same period in 2016, the association says.
Better environmental performance for steel In terms of the environmental performance of steelmakers, in February, reforms to the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) were agreed after two years of talks. Under the new regime, energy-intensive users such as steelmakers that make efforts to be environmentally responsible should enjoy greater protection while greenhouse gas emissions across the EU continue to be cut. The reforms mean the highest performing 10 per cent of factories and other installations will receive all their ETS allowances for free, and a fund of up to €12 billion will be established to help industries innovate by investing in technology. “The European steel industry wanted a scenario in which the best-performing plant in Europe do not incur undue costs,” says Charles de Lusignan, spokesperson for Eurofer, the European Steel Association. “If you are already at the forefront of environmental performance, you shouldn’t face other costs that are not borne by foreign producers.” This has an important global effect. “If steel in Europe becomes uncompetitive due to environmental legislation, we find ourselves in a situation where we are importing steel from
China. There, steel production can be up to 50 per cent more CO2-intensive. You find yourself exporting jobs – and importing steel and CO2. That is just making the CO2 someone else’s problem. The climate doesn’t work that way. “We must be able to compete in the global market, while also being environmentally-friendly.” Other reforms to the ETS hoped for by Eurofer, such as a better way of compensating indirect costs such as energy, did not take place. Under the reformed ETS, the costs of conforming to the scheme by electricity producers – who have to pay for all of their carbon allocations in an auctioning system – will continue to be passed on to the steel industry in Europe, affecting competitiveness. In some EU member states, there is compensation for this, but not in all, distorting the market, De Lusignan says. “One of the things we were hoping for under the reform of the ETS was that there would be a harmonised system for the compensation of indirect costs.”
Global competition Europe has been faced with global overcapacity and the import of large volumes of steel from abroad – a problem that has continued throughout the year. The flood of Chinese steel onto the market has to some extent abated thanks to the successful introduction of antidumping measures. But around 400 million
tonnes of a global steel industry overcapacity of about 650 million tonnes remains in China. This puts downward pressure on steel prices. A Global Forum on steel – run jointly by the G20 and the OECD – has been introduced to look at the problem. “Dealing with overcapacity is key – and that has to be done jointly, not just by the EU, but by the other major steel-producing regions,” De Lusignan says. China is a key concern, but Iran and Russia are also important players in the global steel overcapacity debate. For example, Iran is looking at increasing its capacity for steel production by about 45 million tonnes between now and 2021. Eurofer would like to see a new, more responsive anti-dumping methodology introduced to address dumping of steel imports from China and other countries, and to take into account China’s desired WTO market economy status. “Trade defences are the only mechanism we have to deal with overcapacity, until such a time as overcapacity is dealt with concretely,” he adds. Innovation policy is also important in terms of the future competitiveness of steel. The EU, along with the Dutch Government, has contributed a third of the cost of the €25 million Hirsana test plant at Tata Steel Ijmuiden to develop a new technology for producing molten iron. Hirsana could enable steel companies to use a wider range of raw materials, including recycled materials in blast furnace Industry Europe 7
steelmaking, while delivering a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions. The project is expected to take 15 years to prove. The Hirsana plant and process have the potential to solve some of the environmental issues associated with steelmaking, and could revolutionise the industry – but such projects require support to succeed, De Lusignan says. This support could include the relaxation of EU state aid rules and competition policy. “We shouldn’t allow companies to form cartels – and the EU is very vigilant on this. “But if we are trying to engage in innovation, we would like to be able to combine investment across several parties, without being accused of engaging in cartel-like behaviour.”
Challenges for aluminium The aluminium industry in Europe is facing some of the same issues as the steel sector, including global overcapacity. In fact, European Aluminium, the trade body for the sector in the EU, is calling for a forum to be established addressing overcapacity in the global aluminium industry, just as there is for steel. Compensation for indirect costs – which can be seven times higher than direct costs because aluminium production is so energy-intensive – should also be agreed to secure a ‘competitive and sustainable’ aluminium industry in the EU, the body says.
8 Industry Europe
As with steel, the alumimium industry in Europe is coping with an increased level of imports onto the market from China. Chinese exports of aluminium to the EU increased by 39 per cent in 2016, according to European Aluminium. “The good news is that recent changes to the EU’s anti-dumping and antisubsidy legislation will enable Europe to better deal with the impact of these overcapacities in international trade,” explains Maximo Miccinilli, spokesperson for European Aluminium. The changes allow for a new method of calculating dumping margins for imports from third countries in case of significant market distortions, or where there is ‘highly pervasive state influence’ on the economy. This allows the EU to use the same anti-dumping methodology for all WTO members, and to target ‘significant market distortions’. The upcoming G20 summit in 2018 in Buenos Aries, Argentina, “offers another opportunity to address this issue, which is global, and requires a global solution,” Miccinilli says. Global overcapacity issues aside, primary production of aluminium in Europe is forecast to have grown by 1.6 per cent for 2017, and to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2018. Consumption in Europe was up by 3.6 per cent this year and will grow by 2.8 per cent in 2018, according to European Aluminium. For rolled aluminium, growth is being driven
by the automotive – where aluminium will only find increasing use because of its light weight – and packaging markets. “The building and construction markets are also picking up after several years of crisis,” Miccinilli points out. “We see a robust growth in the use of aluminium in automotive and transport, particularly for body sheets and heat exchangers for cooling applications. We expect this trend to continue. In addition, the electric vehicles hitting the market over the next few years could be aluminium-intensive. “The most likely trend, however, will be multi-material design, in which aluminium plays a key role alongside other materials.” That is good news for Europe’s steel sector, which continues to count automotive as a key market, as it undergoes further consolidation. Greater consolidation in the industry is welcomed by Eurofer. “On the whole consolidation that leads to a more coherently-sized and structured steel industry is positive. It allows us to compete on a global basis, while gaining economies of scale,” says De Lusignan. But authorities will continue to monitor individual deals closely to ensure they increase, rather than stifle, competition. For instance, EU antitrust investigators announced in November that they will investigate whether ArcelorMittal’s proposed purchase of the giant Italian steel plant Ilva will lead to price hikes. Global competition will continue to remain fierce in 2018, and the threat of steel being dumped on the European market ever-present. Against this backdrop, European steelmakers will look to regulators to ensure they can operate on a level playing field. De Lusignan says: “Dealing with overcapacity, environmental policy and investment in innovation are the areas that will secure the future of the steel industry long-term – if n we get them right.”
New developments in the Metals industry
Finnish steel takes scientists into the deepest spot of the ocean
Chinese scientific research company, Rainbowfish Deepsea Equipment & Technology Co., Ltd, will construct a deep-sea research vsel. A Finnish foundry, TEVO LOKOMO LTD, has joined the project. One of the goals of the project is to explore further down into the Marianas Trench – towards a point that has been measured to be the new deepest spot in the world. TEVO LOKOMO has over 100 years of experience in cast steel. A manned submersible cabin casting will be manufactured at the steel foundry in Tampere, Finland. The cabin will be made from Vaculok® Maraging Steel, and it will withstand the extreme pressures at the depths of over 36,000 feet (11,000 metres). Previous MIR submersibles were manufactured in 1987 and their maximum depth was 19,685 feet (6000 metres). Visit: www.tevolokomo.fi
Outokumpu develops weldable sandwich O
Forgemasters wins landmark offshore contract
heffield Forgemasters has won a 5.5 million GBP contract with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for the first major offshore oil industry development in two years. Sheffield Forgemasters’ offshore oil & gas specialist, Vulcan SFM, secured the contract to supply 73 castings ranging from 0.5 tonnes
utokumpu’s weldable sandwich is the first directly weldable steel-polymer compound structure (sandwich) for car body manufacture. Despite their considerable lightweight construction potential, sandwich solutions have not been able to assert themselves up to now because they were not suitable for welding. With the weldable sandwich from Outokumpu, however, it is now possible to combine the constructive challenges of automotive construction – lightweight design, rigidity, acoustics, energy absorption, crash safety and deep-drawing capability – with a weldable solution. No changes to the production process are required here: the weldable sandwich can run through the automotive production process just like a fine steel sheet. The sandwich distin-
guishes itself through 25% lightweight construction with a simultaneous 80% increase in flexural strength compared to solid materials with the same sheet thickness. In this way, the weldable sandwich can make a decisive contribution towards fulfilling lightweight construction and CO2 emission goals, while providing a high level of safety and component rigidity at the same time. Dr Gabriele Brückner, head of development at Outokumpu Deutschland, said: “With the weldable sandwich, we have created a material with a completely new combination of properties and application advantages which have been honoured by a renowned jury of experts with the Materialica Award 2017.” Visit: www.outokumpu.com
to 19.5 tonnes, for a semi-submersible oil platform, the hull of which is being built in Korea by SHI for operation in a Gulf of Mexico oilfield. Following a global cessation of offshore oil & gas developments in 2015, the project is the first major offshore development to be sanctioned and will see a second oil platform installed at an established oilfield, to increase overall production capacity.
Paul Mockford, Design Director at Vulcan SFM, said: “It is a testament to Sheffield Forgemasters’ standing in the offshore oil & gas sector that we should win this contract for the first major offshore development since 2015. We have a long-standing relationship with SHI and our track record is unparalleled.” Visit: www.sheffieldforgemasters.com Industry Europe 9
New developments in the Metals industry
voestalpine invests €16 million in expanding the world’s largest site for automotive blanks in Linz V
oestalpine continues to expand around the world in the automotive sector. The group is not only enhancing its presence in the NAFTA region recently, but it is also investing again: some €16 million are intended for further expansion of what is already the world’s largest production site for laser-welded blanks in Linz. Rapidly growing demand for innovative lightweight construction solutions for the vehicle sector is generating another 50 new jobs at the site in Upper Austria, and will contribute to increasing annual revenue in this product segment to around €200 million. A second plant for the production of laser-welded blanks for the automotive industry was opened in autumn 2016, making Linz the world’s largest production site for this sector. This 2016 investment of around €30 million by voestalpine Automotive Components Linz GmbH, a company in the Metal Forming Division of the voestalpine Group, was the most recent phase in the expansion of the site to date. The 290 employees currently working at the two sites produce around 20 million ultra high-strength steel blanks a year, exported around the world and processed further in automotive manufacturing. Visit: www.voestalpine.com
Investments in Port Talbot announced by Tata Steel
ata Steel has announced investments of around £30 million to help secure the future of steelmaking in South Wales, UK. The announcement is part of a series of planned investments Tata Steel is making in its UK business to strengthen reliability and allow the development and production of high-performing steels demanded by customers. This will help meet the emerging need for next-generation steels for hybrid and electric
EVRAZ NTMK ships new design railway wheels to Deutsche Bahn
VRAZ NTMK has for the first time shipped a lot of 240 BA220 passenger railway wheels to Deutsche Bahn. BA220 railway wheels is a new product for the Mill. The wheels are manufactured with ER7 steel grade and demonstrate rim hardness of 235 HB and above; wheel diameter is 920mm.
10 Industry Europe
cars, as well as for energy-efficient homes and buildings and innovative food packaging. A Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) vessel – weighing 500 tonnes – is to be replaced at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site. At the same time, the company is replacing the massive cranes in the steel plant, and installing enhanced dust extraction hoods and energy-efficient drives to minimise emissions. Visit: www.tatasteeleurope.com Following the customer’s request the wheels are coated with a special detector paint that changes the colour if the wheel is heated to critical temperature in operation. Heating may evidence possible structural changes, therefore if the colour changes the wheel is taken out of service and tested. This is the first case of the application of this paint in Russia. The wheel packing
technology has also been changed for DB. It has been adapted to European warehouses and is assembled from profiled metal. “Cooperation with DB will allow us to make a statement in a new product segment and bring about broad opportunities in the European market,” remarked Ilya Shirokobrod, EVRAZ vice-president, Sales and Logistics. Visit: www.evraz.com
thyssenkrupp opens new ArcelorMittal and Total Lubrifiants sign a production shop at Schönebeck site hyssenkrupp has opened a new production shop for steering components at its Schönebeck site in From next year thyssenkrupp will produce ball screws for electric power steering sysEuropean agreement TtemsSaxony-Anhalt. in the roughly 3000 square metre shop. The extension to the plant supports the strategic expansion
otal Lubrifiants, a leading player in the global lubricants market and ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, have signed a three-year European supply agreement related to the purchase of a complete range of maintenance lubricants, technical support and associated services. The deal marks more than 20 years of partnership between both groups. It ensures the security of supply, enjoying the benefits of Total’s worldwide presence. The core of the agreement concerns highly efficient lubricants which increase the reliability of steelmaking equipment. The agreement optimises the cost, including the cost of maintenance operations and the lifecycle of key assets and equipment, minimising downtime and production losses. The collaborative approach of both companies reflects perfectly ArcelorMittal’s strategy to be the most efficient and competitive producer of steel products. “Today, we expect from our partner not only favourable commercial conditions, but also lubrication improvement programmes to increase the productivity of our assets. Total Lubrifiants is a proven partner introducing the Total Cost of Ownership approach,” said Sanjay PANDYA, general manager of ArcelorMittal, European Procurement Organisation. Visit: www.lubricants.total.com
SSAB launches new, stronger press hardening steel for automotive safety
ocol PHS 2000 is a new steel that is the result of a close collaboration between SSAB and automotive component manufacturer Gestamp. The collaboration project had the primary goal of finding an even lighter and more cost-effective solution for a bumper component. Upon project comple-
of the steering business in Schönebeck. Production at the Schönebeck site has grown steadily in recent years. The new shop complete with equipment represents the start of the planned step-by-step expansion of the Schönebeck production facility in the coming years. The project has received funding of around €1.5 million from the state of Saxony-Anhalt towards the total investment of around €10 million. In Schönebeck thyssenkrupp produces steering components that are pre-assembled into modules before being integrated into steering systems at other company plants in Germany and France. Visit: www.thyssenkrupp.com
Salzgitter Group to construct third hot-dip galvanising line
he Salzgitter AG supervisory board has approved an investment in a third hot-dip galvanising line at the Salzgitter site. For Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH (SZFG), this project represents the implementation of a key component in the group’s ‘Salzgitter AG 2021’ strategy, namely a consistent focus on the premium product range. With an annual capacity of 500,000 metric tonnes, the new hot-dip galvanising line 3 will supplement the two existing SZFG lines and reinforce the market position particularly in high and ultrahigh strength steels for the automotive industry. The unit is scheduled to be put into operation in the second half of 2020.
tion, Docol PHS 2000 achieved this with a 17% weight reduction compared to similar steel bumpers and a lower weight than comparable bumpers made from aluminum. Docol PHS 2000 maintains crash ductility, while other mechanical properties such as yield strength and ultimate strength have been significantly improved. Most other high strength press hardening steels on the
“The investment is a renewed commitment to steel production in Germany. This line will allow us to continue to expand Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH’s importance as a supplier to customers in Europe and worldwide making very high quality demands,” states executive board chair Prof. Dr-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann. Visit: www.salzgitter-ag.com
market have not been fully optimised for automotive applications in this way. “The advantage of Docol PHS 2000 is a higher strength with the same crash performance as our previously strongest press hardening steel,” explains José Puente Cabrero, product manager Cold Rolled Products, SSAB Europe. Visit: www.ssab.com Industry Europe 11
A bridge further with 3D technology The Netherlands-based company MX3D is a pioneer in the field of robotics additive manufacturing technology. Victoria Hattersley looks at one its most ambitious projects to date – a 3D printed stainless steel bridge to be installed over one of Amsterdam’s oldest canals.
t’s the first project of its kind – a 12 metrelong stainless steel pedestrian bridge printed entirely using 3D technology. Due to be completed in 2018, the bridge will sit across Amsterdam’s famous Oudezijds Achterburgwal Canal in the old city centre, and will represent a major step forward in the use of additive manufacturing technologies. Engineers from Imperial College London worked with MX3D to test the novel material properties of the 3D printed steel and perform finite element modeling of the entire structure. This helped to anticipate the impact of pedestrian or cycling traffic over the bridge and inform its design. However, 3D printing in steel is still a relatively new field and the bridge has not been without its set-backs. Originally planned to be supported by a lattice of struts, further 12 Industry Europe
research suggested that this would have placed too much stress on the canal walls so an updated design was necessary. Although it will retain some of its original bends and twists, it now resembles a more ‘conventional’ pedestrian bridge.
Pioneering technology But what makes this project stand out compared to other 3D steel structures is not so much its aesthetic appearance as its pioneering use of robotics. MX3D is a company that equips multi-axis robots with 3D tools and develops the software to control them. According to Tim Geurtjens, the company’s CTO: “What distinguishes our technology from traditional 3D printing methods is that we work according to the ‘Printing Outside the Box’ principle. By printing with six-axis industrial
robots, we are no longer limited to a square box in which everything happens. Printing a functional, life-size bridge is of course the ideal way to demonstrate the endless possibilities of this technique.” Adam Hicks, group leader for additive manufacturing technology development at the University of Dayton Research Institute, had this to say about the importance of the project: “The methods they are using are unique, in that the process is entirely automated. MX3D has robotic arms laying down rows of welds, which the robots use to create structural shapes. “Secondly, these robots can, in principle, crawl out onto the structure they’ve just created, extending the bridge out onto free space. With two systems, one working from either side of the gap, meeting in the middle,
you can 3D print the entire bridge structure without any human involvement (aside from setting up the robots and hitting ‘go’).”
Digital twinning There is yet another reason this construction is interesting: one of the partners joining the MX3D project, the UK-based Alan Turing Institute, is responsible for installing a sensor network on the bridge itself in order to monitor its ‘health’ in real time. Once installed on the completed bridge, the sensors developed by the Alan Turing Institute – along with the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction – will collect structural measurements such as strain, displacement and vibration, as well as measuring environmental factors such as air quality and temperature. The data is input into the bridge’s ‘digital twin’. For those unfamiliar with this term, digital twinning has emerged in recent years as a major new approach to design and maintenance in the fourth industrial revolution. In simple terms, it is the mapping, or
‘twinning’, of a physical asset to a digital platform. Sensors on the digital asset, such as those developed by the Alan Turing Institute to be used on the bridge, collect data to, among other things, predict breakages before they happen. For the MX3D project, this will enable engineers to monitor how the bridge changes over its lifespan. It will also allow for the bridge to be modified in the future to suit any required change in use. Autodesk, a UK-based software developer, will be working alongside the Alan Turing researchers to power the bridge’s collection and processing. It is also helping develop machine learning algorithms that will enable the bridge to interpret and react intelligently to its environment. All of this can help to overcome some of the traditional challenges associated with metal 3D printing – unlike SLS polymer 3D printing, for example, metal 3D printing requires forethought to design and anticipate what traditional post-processing steps will be required. Digital twinning is one way of getting around this issue.
Opening new doors Such techniques, of course, create great possibilities for the 3D construction sector moving forward. 3D printing for infrastructure, such as houses and bridges, could be used in the future to rebuild places affected by natural disasters, build homes in undeveloped places or even – and we’re almost veering into sci-fi territory here – building homes and bridges on the moon or Mars before we get there ourselves. According to Gijs van der Velden, MX3D co-founder: “The MX3D technique offers engineers the freedom of working with metals in an entirely new way. The digital twin of the bridge will help with the creation of a new design language. We hope that this data-centric engineering method will speed up the introduction of this exciting new technique into the construction market.” An open call for ideas on how the data collected by the sensors can be used has been launched by MX3D and closes in February 2018. For more information, visit: http://mx3d.com/projects/bridge/
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New contracts and orders in industry
Brødrene wins contract for three high-speed catamarans
rødrene Aa, Hyen, Norway has announced the signing of a new contract for 3 additional high-speed carbon fiber catamaran ferries for the Chinese market. The customer, Zhongshan-Hong Kong Passenger Shipping Co-op Co., Ltd (ZS), China will be operating the ferries between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China. Two of the vessels in the contract will be 42m in length with a capacity of 300 passengers and have maximum operating speed of 40 knots. The third vessel will be 42m as well, but with a capacity for 230 passengers and a max operating speed of 37 knots. Construction of the vessels will begin at the shipyard in Hyen in November 2017 and all will be completed and delivered to Hong Kong by June 2019. “This contract represents an important milestone in our efforts to penetrate the Chinese market,” said CEO Tor Øyvin. Composite technology has long been the construction material of choice for Brødrene Aa and it is today recognised as the world leader in fuel efficient low emission carbon fibre ferries. Visit: www.braa.no
Nexans to power the world’s largest potash mine
Mark Water Pumps wins order from Suzuki
-based Mark Water Pumps will be contributing towards a group order from Maruti Suzuki in India for over 250,000 parts destined for its popular Swift model. The new business has been secured by the technical expertise of David Lewis and the Colwyn Bay based team, who together have decades of experience servicing the automotive industry. David Lewis, Plant Manager at Mark Water Pumps Limited, comments: “We are proud to be manufacturing oil pumps and front cover assemblies for Maruti Suzuki. When visiting India, it always puts a smile on my face to see how many Swifts there are on the roads and knowing that we are part of that.” “We have been manufacturing automotive components for Maruti Suzuki for a number of years now and are thrilled that they have not only continually supported our partnership with them, but have also requested that we supply an additional quarter of a million plus units for their well-known Swift model. Visit: www.markwaterpumps.limited
Nexam Chemical supplies material for semiconductors
exam Chemical will early in 2018 start supplying material to a new Japanese customer within the focus area high performance polymers, thereby opening a new high performance segment – solutions for semiconductors. The customer, a leading Japanese manufacturer of semiconductor materials,
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has for a long time collaborated with Nexam Chemical to produce materials that meet the high standards of semiconductor encapsulation materials. Semiconductors are included in the components of most of the electronics we currently have around us, such as mobile phones, computers and so on. As components become smaller, the demands on heat resistance have increased.
the global population continues to grow, potash, one of the key ingredients in agricultural fertiliser, will play an increasingly important role in the world’s future. To meet the growing demand, Mosaic, the world’s leading producer of potash and phosphate crop nutrients, has selected Nexans to supply power cables and support services for its $1.7 billion expansion project which will make its K3 facility in Canada the world’s largest potash mine by 2024. The Mosaic Company chose Nexans for its ability to deliver high-quality, innovative cables designed to last longer in the harshest mining environments. Nexans will also provide its industryleading mine site cable training, education and engineering support. “We look forward to supporting Mosaic K3’s ambitious growth plan in the framework of the contract that reinforces Nexans’ position as the cable solutions leader in underground and open pit mining,” said Steven Vermeulen, Nexans Executive VP Americas. “This agreement builds on a 10-year relationship between our organisations as well as a strong cooperation with our distribution partner, whose ability to handle logistics and cable management perfectly complements our superior and proven solutions.” Visit: www.nexans.com “So far we have been focused on high temperature composites in the high performance area. We now have a first customer within semiconductors and we see opportunities for interesting projects together with several players, which in the long run can lead to business,” says Anders Spetz, CEO at Nexam Chemical. Visit: www.nexamchemical.com
WINNINGBUSINESS 3D Systems selected for BMW’s AM processes
Systems has announced the award of a new three-year contract with BMW. The contract for the company’s On Demand Manufacturing services includes production of 3D-printed parts that the vehicle maker will use for design and functional prototypes Using its stereolithography and selective laser sintering technologies as well as providing finishing services such as painting, dying and tumbling, 3D Systems will produce prototype and functional interior and exterior automobile test parts for BMW, as well as tools and fixtures. These parts will be used during summer and winter rideout testing to verify their designs for proper fit and approach, as well as to understand how the parts function in extreme heat and cold. 3D Systems combines its print technologies with a variety of materials to produce these durable, functional parts. For example, the company uses its DuraForm HST Composite fiberglass-filled plastic to create 3D printed parts to be used in powertrain and under-the-hood applications. 3D Systems has a long-standing relationship with BMW, delivering high-quality parts and lending its engineering expertise to help define manufacturing processes and solutions. Visit: www.3dsystems.com
Meyer Burger awarded major strategic contract M
eyer Burger’s high performance Heterojunction (HJT) solar cell coating technology has been selected for the installation of a manufacturing line to produce bifacial Heterojuction solar cells in Catania, Italy. The contract volume is around CHF 45 million. The order comprises installation, on-site training and service of the industry-leading HELiA platform for the production of high efficiency Heterojunction
(HJT) solar cells as well as full interlink automation of the manufacturing facility and amounts to around CHF 45 million. Delivery will start by mid-2018 and full production is expected to begin in 2019. The customer currently produces thin film modules and has already delivered over 500 MW of installed PV capacity. Meyer Burger’s industrialised HELiA platform for the production of bifacial HJT solar cells has been selected as the technology
of choice to replace the existing cell technology in order to produce bifacial HJT solar cells. Meyer Burger is also entering into a joint development partnership with the PV manufacturer to drive average HJT cell efficiencies beyond 23%. Production will initially start with conventional busbar cell connection technology with the plan to convert to Meyer Burger’s SWCT module technology. Visit: www.meyerburger.com
Large umbilical tubing order for Sandvik
andvik has signed a contract for the supply of stainless steel tubes required for 250km of umbilicals, linking a subsea development to an existing offshore platform. The contract value is approximately 700 MSEK and deliveries will take place from the end of 2017 and during the first half of 2018. “We are proud to have been selected as the umbilical tube supplier for this prestigious contract, which confirms our position as the leading producer of steel tubes for umbilicals,” says Michael Andersson, Head of Product Area Tube within Sandvik Materials Technology. Umbilical systems are connections used to transport energy, data and liquids between oil and gas installations on the seafloor to offshore facilities or platforms. Sandvik is a high-tech and global engineering group offering products and services that enhance customer productivity, profitability and safety. Visit: www.sandvik.com
Plug Power: European deal with Asko and Toyota Material Handling
lug Power Inc., a leader in providing energy solutions that change the way the world moves, announced a new agreement with Toyota Material Handling Norway (Toyota) to provide hydrogen fuel cells to Asko, a leading Norwegian grocery wholesaler. Asko will use GenDrive fuel cells to
power its industrial electric forklift fleet in Trondheim, Norway. The agreement enables GenDrive fuel cell units to be incorporated into Asko’s Trondheim distribution centre, with the possibility to convert the full 95-truck fleet to fuel cell power. Green hydrogen will be produced on site via electrolysis technology from NEL ASA. The Trondheim facility is a pilot
project, and forecasts expansion potential to additional opportunities, including Asko’s 13 regional warehouses. “Plug Power’s proven performance in Europe has attracted leading partners, like Toyota, NEL ASA and Asko, as we expand our European fuel cell presence into Norway,” said Andy Marsh, Plug Power’s CEO. Visit: www.plugpower.com Industry Europe 15
E.ON invests in platform provider Cuculus
.ON has strengthened its expertise in digital and networked customer solutions with a new partnership. The company has acquired a stake in Cuculus, a software start-up based in Ilmenau. Together, the partners will develop solutions for the intelligent house of the future. The technical basis for this is the Internet of Things (IoT), in which different devices and systems can communicate and control each other via the Internet. In the new energy world, solar systems, battery storage systems – including virtual ones such as the E.ON SolarCloud – and electric vehicles and
charging systems are all part of the house. All these systems must be continuously automated and coordinated in order to use energy as efficiently as possible. With ZONOS, Cuculus has an IoT platform designed to meet this need. At the same time, the system is already being used by numerous customers worldwide for the management of smart meters. The solution, which has been continuously improved since 2007, is characterised by its high security standards, scalability and flexibility. Visit: www.eon.com
CERATIZIT acquires KOMET GROUP T he CERATIZIT Group, headquartered in Mamer, Luxembourg, has announced the acquisition of the KOMET GROUP, headquartered in Besigheim, Germany. “The disruptive changes in the market environment pose enormous challenges for KOMET. The acquisition by CERATIZIT now opens up new opportunities for sustainable growth,” says Dr Christof Bönsch, CEO of the KOMET GROUP. “The takeover sees the emergence of a new
global player with superior technology expertise and broad market access.” CERATIZIT is committed to Germany as a key production and innovation hub. “Employees can look forward to a positive and attractive future because, as a privately owned company, CERATIZIT is keen to develop its sites in a sustainable manner,” says Bönsch. The implementation of the ‘KOMET 2026’ strategy will be continued in order to ensure the safety of the jobs.
The KOMET brand will play a pivotal role in the CERATIZIT Group’s cutting tools strategy. Going forward, customers will have an even stronger partner in all areas of cutting tools technology, from turning and milling to the complete machining of holes. Visit: www.ceratizit.com
Autoneum, Nittoku and Toyota Boshoku establish joint venture A
Schaeffler buys autinity systems
he Schaeffler Group has been consistently implementing its digital agenda, which includes the takeover of autinity. The Chemnitz-based IT company specialises in digital machine data recording and evaluation. Chief Digital Officer Gerhard Baum said: “The acquisition of this company will help us to intensify our collaboration and acceler-
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utoneum and the Japanese automobile suppliers Nittoku (Nihon Tokushu Toryo) and Toyota Boshoku have agreed on the establishment of a joint venture for research and development in vehicle acoustics. The collaboration, which is subject to approval by regulatory authorities, is expected to begin in January 2018. By means of the joint venture, acoustic studies for Toyota Motor Corporation and other automotive related companies will be conducted in Japan under the scientific lead of Autoneum. In future,
customers will benefit from the expertise of the Swiss innovation leader and its Japanese partners both in the predevelopment of vehicle models with NV benchmarking (noise, vibration) and subsequently in vehicle development with computer-aided design of customised acoustics systems. In order to guarantee the highest standards, measurement systems and simulation software developed by Autoneum will be deployed at the acoustic centre located at Toyota Boshoku in Japan. Visit: www.autoneum.com
ate further developments in the fields of machine data recording and condition monitoring. Both topics are key essential elements of Schaeffler’s digital agenda, which are in strong demand both from internal and external customers.” As part of its ‘Mobility for tomorrow’ strategy, Schaeffler has defined digitalisation as a core future opportunity. Establishing
internal structures, the partnership with IBM, the cooperation with the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (SHARE at FAU), the active involvement in the industrial data space in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute, and the takeover of autinity are important components in implementing Schaeffler’s digital agenda. Visit: www.schaeffler.com
Materialise takes over ACTech
aterialise has announced the acquisition of ACTech, a Germany-based leader in producing limited runs of highly complex cast metal parts. The transaction brings together the metal competencies of Materialise, a leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions and software, with those of ACTech, into a comprehensive metal manufacturing offering. ACTech has over 20 years of deep knowledge and experience in the production, treatment and quality control of complex metal parts. The acquisition of ACTech’s expertise and in-house infrastructure will enable Materialise to accelerate the development of its existing metal competence centre and take a strong position in the market for the production and delivery of unique, complex 3D-printed metal parts. Furthermore, the acquisition of ACTech will enable Materialise to develop and improve its software
suite for Metal 3D Printing through close collaboration with ACTech, taking advantage of learning from an active metal manufacturing environment. “Through the acquisition, we are further enhancing the manufacturing and software backbone position that will support the entire industry,” said Wilfried Vancraen, founder and CEO of Materialise. Visit: www.materialise.com
Aker BP acquires Hess Norge A
ker BP ASA has entered into an agreement to acquire Hess Norge AS. Through the transaction, Aker BP will strengthen its production and resource base, and become the sole owner of the Valhall and Hod fields, where the company sees great potential for value creation through increased oil recovery and flank developments. The company intends to increase shareholder dividends following the transaction.
The cash consideration of the transaction is USD 2.0 billion. The transaction includes Hess Norge’s interests in the Valhall (64.05 per cent) and Hod (62.5 per cent) fields. Aker BP will also assume Hess Norge’s tax positions, which include a tax loss carry forward with a net nominal after-tax value of USD 1.5 billion, as booked in Hess Norge’s 2016 annual accounts. Aker BP’s Chairman, Øyvind Eriksen, comments: “The acquisition of Hess Norge is another move as a part of our ambition to grow the company. This investment allows Aker BP to raise the dividend level to USD 350 million per year with the first uplift planned for the fourth quarter of 2017. Through the equity issue, we are enabling Aker BP to grow further on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.” Visit: www.akerbp.com
GARO purchases WEB-EL Försäljning
developed a server service together with GARO that enables online connection, debiting for electricity consumption and monitoring of GARO’s products. Today, this system is mainly used for engine heater and camping products. Carl-Johan Dalin, president and CEO of GARO, comments: “GARO is a market leader in charging stations, engine heaters and power supply products for camp sites and
ARO has acquired WEB-EL Försäljning AB. WEB-EL develops and sells systems and electronic components for controlling sockets for charging stations, engine heaters, camp sites and marinas. GARO has worked closely on the development of electronic products and controls with WEB-EL for several years. The company also
Chinese company Zhongwang acquires German manufacturer
ne of the world leaders in the development and manufacture of aluminium products, China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd has completed the acquisition of Aluminiumwerk Unna AG. Founded in 1914, Aluminiumwerk Unna AG is based in Unna, Germany and supplies, amongst others, globally renowned airplane manufacturers with high quality seamless aluminium tubes. “Zhongwang is a reliable strategic partner and we are especially pleased about this fusion,” states Thomas Wiese, ALUnna CEO. “As the world’s second largest producer of industrial aluminium products, Zhongwang will support us to achieve further flexibility in the areas of financing and operative business, to achieve long term growth, to reinforce our international reputation and recognition and to strengthen our position as a leading worldwide supplier. We look forward to the partnership with Zhongwang. In the long term the merger offers more room for development for current employees as well as creating new jobs. Zhongwang has strategically expanded its global business. Through its acquisition of Aluminiumwerk Unna AG, the market leader in Germany as well as Europe, Zhongwang has officially entered the European market. Visit: www.alunnatubes.com
marinas. With this acquisition, we will obtain broad expertise for the further development of customised services that are increasing in demand from our customers. This is an investment for a digitalised future. We are delighted that the company’s personnel will come and work for GARO to lead the development of these products and services.” Visit: www.garo.se Industry Europe 17
Relocations and expansions across Europe
Renault to begin vehicle assembly in Pakistan Bristol to establish world’s first
roupe Renault and Al-Futtaim have announced that they have signed definitive agreements for the exclusive assembly and distribution of Renault vehicles in Pakistan. “Groupe Renault is delighted to extend its international footprint by entering Pakistan, a fast-growing market with a 10% annual growth rate. By partnering with Al-Futtaim, Groupe Renault aims to become a major player in Pakistan. We aim to bring our latest products and cutting-edge technology to set new benchmarks of safety and quality in the market,” said Fabrice Cambolive, senior vicepresident, chairman of the Africa Middle-East India Region of Groupe Renault. The agreements will see Groupe Renault bring its latest products and technological know-how, while Al-Futtaim, through its new subsidiary Al-Futtaim Automotive Pakistan (Private) Limited, will establish a new manufacturing and assembly plant, and exclusively distribute Renault cars through its extensive knowledge of the market. Al-Futtaim global automotive operations extend to 11 markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and Pakistan represents one of the most dynamic opportunities in these regions. Visit: www.alfuttaim.com or www.renault.com
SIKA opens second production facility in Angola
ika, the speciality chemicals company, is expanding its presence in Africa with a new facility in the Angolan capital, Luanda. In addition to the production of concrete admixtures in an existing factory, mortar products – one of the Sika Group’s fastest-growing areas of business – will also be manufactured locally. With the additional production capacities in Angola, Sika is moving further toward its goal of covering about 70% of the market potential on the African continent with its own subsidiaries and production facilities. Sika has also recently commissioned mortar production facilities in the countries of Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Ivo Schädler, regional manager EMEA: “In the last five years alone, we have greatly strengthened our presence on the African continent, and now have 19 national subsidiaries and 18 production facilities. We are positioning ourselves in the markets early so that we can benefit from the construction boom triggered by rapid population growth and urbanisation.” Visit: www.ch.sika.com
Militzer & Münch expands in Belarus
ilitzer & Münch is expanding its existing network in Belarus with a new logistics centre. For the construction of the new warehouse, Militzer & Münch Belarus purchased a property in the north-eastern part of Minsk, near MKAD, the Minsk beltway. The 2000 square metre facility will be used mainly for express cargo handling; a small section will
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Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre
he University of Bristol has announced plans to establish the world’s first open access Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre, focusing on taking quantum research from the lab and into the commercial world and positioning the UK as a global leader in the field. Experts predict that harnessing the quantum world – the behaviour of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level – will revolutionise technology by making it faster, smaller, more secure and, ultimately, more useful for a wide variety of applications. The £43 million Quantum Technologies Innovation Centre (QTIC) will be based in the University’s new enterprise campus, to be built in the heart of the city. More than 200 researchers at the University will work in partnership with companies to develop the prototypes of tomorrow and play a major role in establishing new quantum businesses. Airbus is one of QTIC’s leading industrial partners and it seeks to develop applications in the area of satellite communications secured with quantum physics, to use ultra-powerful quantum computing and to adopt sensing beyond the precision of today’s technology. Visit: www.bristol.ac.uk
Volkswagen to invest €22.8 billion in its plants thoughout the world
olkswagen brand is consistently implementing its Transform 2025+ strategy. The main focus is on the further development of modular production, the continuation of the model offensive and further orientation towards e-mobility. For this purpose, the core brand of the Volkswagen Group will be investing about €22.8 billion throughout the world from 2018 to 2022. The main focus will be on Germany, which will account for investments totaling €14 billion. One of the key measures will be the transformation of the Zwickau plant into a pure e-mobility facility, with an investment volume of about €1 billion. In the first stage, Volkswagen will be concentrating the series production of its future electric vehicles based on the new modular electric drive kit (MEB) here. In 2020, the Volkswagen I.D., the first vehicle in the new generation of electric automobiles, will be launched on the market. Visit: www.volkswagen.de
be designed for the long-term storage of pallets and handling of groupage cargo. “Belarus will turn into an important hub of the Silk Road Initiative between Asia and Europe, which makes the country a preferred location for industrial, commercial and logistics setups,” says Felix Zimmermann, co-chairman of the GermanBelarusian Council of Entrepreneurs.
Currently, about 400 employees work at 14 locations nationwide for Militzer & Münch Belarus. The company handles groupage and full load transports as well as part load shipments with its own truck fleet. The team also offers air and sea freight services, customs clearance, as well as hazardous goods and heavy lift transports. Visit: www.mumnet.com
MHEA announces new president T he Materials Handling Engineers Association has appointed a new president, John Connolly, who will hold the post for the next two years. John, who has been vice-president for two years and a member of the MHEA’s executive committee for several years, took up the role at the AGM in October. John Connolly said: “I strongly believe that the MHEA is the only association that offers our participating and hopefully future members the opportunity in becoming involved in a body that offers a range of benefits that engage all stakeholders. “The atmosphere surrounding MHEA events such as visits to industrial plants, conferences, exhibitions, daily workshops and group networking days enables members to obtain clarity on what’s happening in other businesses, customers’ organisations and the wider world.
HYBRIT CEO recruited for fossil-free steel initiative
årten Görnerup has been appointed CEO of the newly established joint venture company HYBRIT Development AB. He joins HYBRIT from Metsol, a technical consultancy firm in the steel sector, where he was CEO. Mårten has a background in metallurgy research. “HYBRIT is an exciting, forward-looking company that can help us to provide society with steel while achieving climate objectives. It’s therefore a great honour for me to become the company’s CEO,” said Mårten Görnerup. HYBRIT was initiated by SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall in spring 2016. One year later, a joint venture company was formed with the goal of developing a steelmaking process that emits water rather than carbon dioxide by replacing the current blast furnace process using coal and coke with a process based on hydrogen gas.
EuroChem appoints Dmitry Strashnov as Group COO
uroChem Group AG, a leading global fertiliser company, has announced the appointment of Dmitry Strashnov as its chief operating officer, a new role based at its corporate headquarters in Zug, Switzerland. Mr Strashnov is tasked with the day-to-day running of EuroChem’s global business and
Ford names new manufacturing boss for Europe
ord Motor named a new manufacturing boss and a new head of joint ventures and alliances in Europe as part of a global top-level management reorganisation. The changes will see four top executives leave Ford as CEO Jim Hackett reshapes his leadership team to make the automaker more competitive. Company veteran Stephen Odell, the British national who heads global sales and marketing, will retire. Ford also said its heads of quality, human resources and strategy will depart between now and the end of the year. Dale Wishnousky will lead Ford’s European manufacturing operations. He succeeds Linda Cash, 55, who moves to a global role as head of quality and new model launches, replacing Bennie Fowler, 61, who has elected to retire. Wishnousky, 54, a German-born Canadian national, moves to his new post from his job as director of Ford’s global manufacturing business office.
New managing director of Elos Medtech Tianjin
onny Jakobsson has been appointed managing director of Elos Medtech Tianjin. Conny has 17 years’ experience in leading positions in China, primarily within production, purchasing and sourcing. He joins Elos Medtech from his role as president of a Chinese company, which produces cutting tools and sales of CNC grinding machines. “We are delighted to welcome Conny to our business in China. With his production background and his focus on quality and customers’ need, we look forward to using the breadth of Conny’s experience to realise our growth ambitions and strategic goals in the Asian market. Our assessment is that Elos Medtech Tianjin has the potential to be further developed as an attractive partner to the global medical technology market,” says Jan Wahlström, CEO and president of Elos Medtech.
driving further expansion across the world. He will report to Group CEO, Dmitry Strezhnev. Mr Strashnov was CEO of Russian Post from 2013 to 2017. Before that he was CEO and president of the Russian subsidiary of Tele2, and previously served as CEO of Philips Consumer Electronics in Russia. Dmitry Strashnov stated: “I am thrilled to be joining EuroChem at this important
time in the company’s development. I look forward to supporting EuroChem’s further growth and global expansion.”
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Advances in technology across industry
Flexible electricity generation from Areva Transparent coatings for
REVA NP has installed a system to automatically adjust Goesgen Swiss nuclear power plant’s electricity generation to the needs of the grid operator. The successfully implemented solution varies the plant’s output between 50 and 100% of its installed capacity, without interaction of the operator. The output adaptation can be performed with power ramps of up to 30 megawatts per minute. AREVA NP’s Advanced Load Following Control (ALFC) technology features a software upgrade of the reactor control system, adapts the relevant interfaces in the plant and comprises a comprehensive test series as well as operator training to ensure safe and proper operation. “The intermittent electricity generation of renewable energy sources like wind and solar increases the need for balancing power. The ALFC system enhances the capabilities of nuclear power plants to deliver such services and to perform a stabilising role in the power grid,” said Carsten Dueweke, responsible for instrumentation & control projects at AREVA NP. AREVA NP has already delivered its ALFC technology to four German nuclear power plants (Philippsburg 2, Isar 2, Brokdorf and Grohnde). Visit: www.areva.com
Dassault Systèmes helps to develop the first and dirt-repellent sportswear and outaircraft to be made in the United Arab Emirates Waterdoor clothing, or anti-fog windshields – there assault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform has been used by Calidus, an Abu Dhabi-based advanced are many everyday products that can profit from
technology company recently incorporated, to develop its military light attack aircraft with multirole capabilities, the first such aircraft developed 100% in the United Arab Emirates. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform enabled Calidus’s teams to virtually design, develop and optimise two prototypes within a two-year timeframe in order to unveil the aircraft at the Dubai Air Show 2017. Its single source of data and integrated applications accelerated Calidus’s design process and streamlined the company’s project collaboration both internally and externally with its suppliers. “In 2015, Calidus set out to create a highly complex technological product and achieved its ambition on time by relying on a holistic digital approach to innovation,” said Philippe Forestier, executive vice-president, Global Affairs and Communities, Dassault Systèmes. “This achievement reinforces the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s role in connecting people, ideas and data throughout a company’s value chain and across all disciplines, as well as Dassault Systèmes’ position as the technology partner of reference to the aerospace and defence industry.” Visit: www.3ds.com/industries/aerospace-defense
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highly hydrophobic coatings. For such coatings, researchers led by Dr Bastian E. Rapp at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have created Fluoropor, a material that is both transparent and abrasionresistant and that consists of a fluorinated polymer foam with continuous nano/micro-structure. Water droplets run off the leaf surface: In nature, this phenomenon is mainly known from lotus plants. Researchers imitate this lotus effect by means of superhydrophobic, i.e. highly water-repellent, surfaces. Superhydrophobic properties develop due to structuring on the nano/microscale. Such extremely fine structures (one nanometre is a billionth of a metre) make surfaces highly sensitive to abrasion and account for the fact that they are not sufficiently robust for everyday applications. In the case of Fluoropor, in contrast, the nano-/ microstructure is not limited to the surface but occurs throughout the material, thus giving the material a high long-term abrasion resistance and suitability for daily use. The foam seems optically transparent due to its tiny pores whose diameter is below the wavelength of visible light. Fluoropor, therefore, is ideally suited as a coating for transparent substrates such as glass. The material, can, however, also be applied to e.g., metal, polymers, or textiles. Fluoropor can be efficiently manufactured in one step in different thicknesses by so-called photo-induced radical polymerisation. Visit: www.kit.edu
NOTICEBOARD Next generation green technology for new scissor lift GRAS UK launches
olland Lift has introduced a new model of scissor lift fitted with a future-ready environmentally friendly diesel engine. The headline feature of the new HL-275 D25 4WD/P/N is its Hatz 4H50TIC diesel engine. This common rail, turbocharged diesel engine is Stage IIIB (EU 97/68)/Tier 4 Final (EPA) – Stage V ready to meet the most stringent non-road emission limits in both Europe and the USA. It is also very quiet, and returns significantly lower fuel consumption than comparable alternative engines. As a package, it therefore meets several key environmental and operational goals. Stage V will phase in from 31 December 2018. As the name suggests, the HL-275 D25 is derived from Holland Lift’s existing HL-275 D27 model. However, as well as the greener engine, it features another crucial difference: it’s narrower. Instead of being 2.65m wide, it is 2.5m wide. This change, made in response to customer feedback, means the D25 version can be moved on a regular transporter. And despite the slight reduction in width, the HL-275 D25 can still be driven safely at full height, which is the same 27m as the D27 model. Visit: www.hollandlift.com
world first automotive measurement microphone
Alignment for 3D printing made simple AS
the market-leading OEM manufacturer of scan systems, SCANLAB GmbH helps demanding users to get more precision, thanks to a software-based 3D Calibration Wizard. This calibration approach lets a scan solution’s individual components be aligned step-by-step. Reflecting industry’s constantly rising precision requirements of recent years – in 3D marking as well as in additive manufacturing and other applications – this static calibration is a convenient way to attain the most exacting results. Moreover, the dialog-driven software vastly simplifies laser equipment calibration for less-experienced laser machine operators, too. The new 3D Calibration Wizard enables a maximally accurate individual alignment of all system components – e.g. a 2D scan head combined with an F-Theta objective or z-axis extension – via evaluation of test patterns and marked points. Calibration proceeds step-by-step under the easy-to-understand guidance of the software’s dialog windows. Recommended marking parameters are included in a separate correction file. After each step, an individualized configuration file gets generated and automatically loads to take command of the alignment task before the next step is taken. This predefined approach reduces sources of error. Visit: www.scanlab.de
High feed with high versatility D
ormer Pramet has launched an economical range of high feed cutters and inserts for productive machining of a wide variety of materials. The versatile Pramet SBN10 cutters are suitable for copy milling, ramping, helical interpolation, slotting and plunging. Their unique pocket design can also carry inserts for shoulder and face milling, offering a complete package for, in particular, mould and die applications, from roughing to finishing. To support this addition, Dormer Pramet has introduced an assortment of BNGX10 inserts for high feed roughing. The patented double-sided insert with four cutting edges provides an economical and versatile option. Also, a new range of Pramet ANHX10 inserts is now available for finishing operations in shoulder and face milling. The single-sided insert has
two cutting edges and a positive geometry for long overhang, helping to decrease vibrations and reduce noise. Both inserts offer a smoother cut, while a special through coolant design directs lubrication nearer to the cutting edge. This allows for high feed rates with axial depth of cut up to 1mm. A higher ramping angle improves chip control. Visit www.dormerpramet.com
.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration UK Ltd – leading manufacturer of advanced measurement microphones – has launched the 146AE ultrarugged automotive microphone. A world first, the new microphone set is waterproof, able to withstand high temperatures and is shock-, dustand oil mist-resistant – all without compromising measurement quality. The innovative 146AE measurement microphone is designed specifically to meet the demands of automotive testing and can perform accurately and reliably under the most extreme test conditions, time and time again. This minimises costly retesting and rescheduling, providing efficiency, valid data and high performance all at the same time. G.R.A.S. has focused on ensuring the 146AE microphone performs in real-life automotive application conditions with strong vibrations, drop, extreme temperatures and water or dust. It is ideal for engine compartment measurements, transmissions, exhaust and brake noise tests. According to G.R.A.S. product manager Jan Hansen: “Our customers have been asking for a robust, dependable and precise microphone set that is tailor-made for automotive testing and we have listened. The 146AE is the only automotive microphone that can deliver accurate data – even when measuring under the most extreme conditions.” Visit: www.gras.dk/automotive-microphone Industry Europe 21
Germany Allan Hall reports from Berlin on the aftermath of the election.
is Frankenstein, for she has created the monster that all German leaders have dreaded since 1945 – a credible, hard-right party in the national parliament. “Victory for Merkel but...” was the headline on the bestselling Bild newspaper website as the country digested what had happened the day after the September general election. It added: “For Germany this is an election earthquake.” Disbelief at the hard right Alternative for Germany (AfD) entering the national parliament as the main opposition party reverberated far beyond national borders. The International Auschwitz Committee warned that the “conglomerate of anti-Semites, enemies of democracy and nationalistic agitators” will bring “an inhuman coldness” to the Reichstag. Munich’s Sueddeutsche newspaper said: “For the first time in more than 50 years, a nationalist, extreme-right, broadly racist party will sit in the Bundestag ... That is sad, shameful and will change the climate in the country.” And foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that “for the first time since the end of the Second World War, real Nazis will sit in the German parliament.” Much of the support for the AfD came from male voters in former communist east Germany where both jobs – and eligible females – are thin on the ground. But there were also numerous malcontents among Merkel’s own CDU followers who felt betrayed at her decision to open the frontiers to over a million unchecked war refugees. Spiegel weekly magazine blamed Merkel for the rise of the AfD, saying she should be voted out simply for failing to stop “the Nazis from entering the Bundestag.” “I voted for the AfD because I am a little man and Mrs Merkel stopped listening to the little people long ago,” said Jorge Moeller, 62, from Duesseldorf. “She was more interested in looking after Muslims from Syria than her own people. I hope with the 22 Industry Europe
AfD we have a party that will speak for the person in the street again. It is about time.” But all politicians outside its ranks have pledged to have nothing to do with it, making its parliamentary presence noisy but ineffective. It is the hope of Mrs Merkel that four years will prove a long time in politics and that the rage which drove it into power will dissipate with time. That is also the view of Manfred Guellner, chief of the opinion poll institute Forsa, who predicted that the AfD will self-destruct in the Bundestag. “The AfD will disintegrate because that’s what happens to sectarian groups from the right,” he said. Mrs Merkel and many others are praying he is correct.
“For the first time in more than 50 years, a nationalist, extreme-right, broadly racist party will sit in the Bundestag...” Economy still growing As she still struggles to form a workable coalition government with other parties in the Bundestag she knows that she owes her re-election – albeit with a reduced vote – to one thing: the economy. Saddened and maddened though many were by her immigration policy, Mrs Merkel has done enough on the home economic front to win their trust for a fouth term. With the economy whirring, joblessness palatably low and the emissions scandals of the car giants seemingly remote from everyday life, she still enjoys almost 34 per cent voter support. Unemployment is down by half since she first took office in 2005. Growth reached an average of 2 per cent in her second term while the rest of Europe limped along at a fraction
of that. Though slower since then, it’s stayed ahead of most of the rest of the continent. Germany continues to punch far above its weight in the global trade arena. Its $280 billion trade surplus in goods last year was surpassed only by $479 billion for much-larger China, according to United Nations data. Its exports in recent years represented around 46 per cent of Germany’s gross domestic product, per the World Bank; the comparable figure for the US is about 13 per cent. Driving Germany’s trade juggernaut is its dominance in several competitive industries, including industrial and other machines, which represent nearly 17 per cent of exports, cars and their parts – more than 15 per cent – and pharmaceuticals with a six per cent slice of the cake. Most closely associated with this success story are Germany’s well-known global brands, such as Volkswagen AG, industrial conglomerate Siemens AG and drugmaker Bayer AG. Equally important are lesser-known companies, mostly earning less than 1 billion euros, that provide the bulk of the country’s exports. “Germany’s economic success story goes on and on and on,” ING Bank analyst Carsten Brzeski said, adding there was very little reason to fear a sudden end to the current performance. He cautioned, however, that the main drivers supporting the domestic economy, such as rising employment, rising wages and increased government spending, could lose some momentum in the coming quarters. “The same holds for the export sector, where a stronger euro, weaker-thanexpected US growth and Brexit uncertainty could take some wind out of the sails,” Brzeski added. These are the headwinds that Mrs Merkel must navigate if she is to see out a full fourth term in office. The prognosis is good, but if a week is a long time in politics, four years is n an eternity.
France Ian Sparks reports from Paris on the horrors of life with less butter.
rance is blaming the Chinese for its worst butter shortages since World War Two. Across the country, shelves are bare and apologetic notices have been posted to customers, who in France are the world’s biggest consumers of butter, eating 3.5kg of it each per year. The knock-on effect of the crisis means that many bakers are unable to meet demand for cakes, pies and especially the nation’s beloved croissant. Reports in the French media said some bakers were even committing the ultimate heresy of using margarine instead to make the iconic Gallic snack. There are several reasons for the shortage, but most of France is blaming it on China, where butter consumption has increased ten-fold in the past decade, primarily due to increasing incomes, growing urbanisation and an expanding middle class. But analysts also believe much of the crisis is self-inflicted, and due to the country’s rigid pricing and distribution system. Supermarkets are refusing to pay more because the amount they can charge customers is fixed annually by law, so producers are simply selling their butter abroad. Grandmother Nicole Regai, 84, told French daily Le Figaro: “I never thought I would see the day again where shop shelves were empty of butter. It is the worst situation since the war, when the Nazis stole all our butter and sent it to Germany.” Bernard Rouyer, head of the French dairy industry’s national organisation, said: “You have to understand that butter holds a key role in French cuisine and we eat it with every meal. Being French I cannot imagine eating radishes without butter. And we consider the combination of a baguette and butter as the perfect pairing. Also, in the west, fat is no longer considered the nutritional enemy it once was. That has changed to sugar so consumption of butter has gone up. “Producers are also finding that they can get a better price by selling abroad than to
the domestic market, and China is buying up most of it.” But he added: “We are currently holding emergency negotiations with retailers, who we believe may be persuaded to accept an increase in prices, and if this happens consumers may find shelves restocked with delicious French butter just in time for Christmas.”
Less wine too! French wine production is also at as historical low this year due to poor harvests which have seen output volumes drop by a record 23 per cent.
Many bakers are unable to meet demand for cakes, pies and especially the nation’s beloved croissant. Reports in the French media said some bakers were even committing the ultimate heresy of using margarine instead to make the iconic Gallic snack. Industry experts are blaming the poor harvests on extreme weather conditions, especially harsh springtime frosts which hit vineyards all the way from Bordeaux to Burgundy. Cotes du Rhone and Languedoc wines in southern France were spared the cold, but then suffered severe drought in the summer. Georges Haushalter, Bordeaux trader and president of the Economic Commission of the Interprofessional Bordeaux Wine Council, told L’Express newspaper: “The
situation is critical, but it is not tragic. There is already a lot of anxiety locally. In Burgundy they have had three difficult years because of frost, and wine growers in Pommard are on the brink of bankruptcy. Nationwide, winemakers could lose out on about a billion euros this year. “Luckily there are stocks to compensate for the shortfall so there is still plenty of wine in the shops, unlike the butter crisis. But if next year’s weather isn’t better, customers may begin to notice less choice and higher prices.” He added: “Customers can help by spending more on their bottle of wine than they might usually do. Fine wines count for about three per cent of the wine produced but 20 per cent of the turnover. That means that if the fine wines sell particularly well the pressure on the volume market of our everyday wines will ease. “Christmas is a critical selling period for the wine industry, so I would urge everyone to drink responsibly but drink expensively this festive season to help keep our winemakers afloat.” The French government is also studying what the future holds for an industry that is set to be increasingly affected by climate change. The Ministry of Agriculture is currently working on a plan to combat global warming and other natural phenomena that is affecting production. Jerome Agostini of the CNIV winemakers association said: “It’s not just a problem of climate change but also of bacteria diseases affecting the wood of the vines and insects destroying the plants. We are involved in a three-year study on different ways to improve and protect vines. This is a long term project but vines last 35 years so it’s worth investing in them. “People whose work depends on nature are used to adapting to it almost on an annual basis. I think the current problems are something that can be overcome.” n Industry Europe 23
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Showcasing the future
of crop technology Taking place from 12–18 November 2017 in Hannover, Germany, AGRITECHNICA is the world’s No.1 trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment. Industry Europe looks at this year’s programme and finds out why this show stands out above all others in the sector.
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Future crop protection
ver seven days, AGRITECHNICA 2017 will be hosting 2900 exhibitors across 23 halls, showcasing the very latest crop production technologies and agricultural equipment. Alongside this, its technical programme will include a number of specialist forums and conferences and the event will also play host to the coveted Innovation Award and a Young Farmers Day.
Crop protection is one of the most important aspects of successful crop production and the scope of current development in this area ranges from forecasting models and nozzle technology to boom guidance, GPS control, drone and robot technology. With this in mind, a special feature of this year’s show is entitled ‘Future crop protection – responsibility needs ideas’. It will offer a unique platform to showcase new developments in the field of crop protection, tackling questions such as: • What changes are necessary in order to work more efficiently and thus in a more eco-friendly manner? • What action can farmers take to improve the way they use machinery and technology? Visitors concerned with this subject, such as farmers, consultants and private contractors, can take advantage of all AGRITECHNICA has to offer, including: finding out about innovations in crop protection; comparing and discussing systems and offering at a single venue; sharing their ideas and exchanging experiences with colleagues and suppliers; talking to experts and specialists to find answers to their most pressing questions.
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Conferences and forums As always, AGRITECHNICA’s show programme encompasses a broad range of conferences, forums and seminars. There are two international conferences running this year: ‘LAND.TECHNIK – Ag.Eng 2017’ and ‘Ag Machinery International – Access to emerging markets’. The first of these, running from 10-11 November, offers an insight into the vast world of agricultural technologies with tractors, power trains, electrical drives, mobile hydraulics and agricultural information technologies just some of the topics under the spotlight. The second conference mentioned above will be held with a view to enabling visitors to learn about interesting emerging economics and developing countries. Several events will take place examining selected countries in eastern Europe and southeast Africa, as well as South East Asia and China. Each separate part of the conference will offer market reports and best-practice examples from successful firms, as well as farmers’ reports from each participating country. The three main events within the conference, taking place from 14-16 November, are: • Opportunities in new markets – will the prophecies hold true? • Emerging markets in focus – positive outlook despite political uncertainties • South-East Asia in focus – Will Western brands find their place?
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AGRITECHNICA’s forum programme, meanwhile, provides visitors with opportunities to discuss current international topics with experts across science, business, consultancy services and agricultural practice.
Forestry and landscape This year, Hall 26 at AGRICTECHNICA plays host to the Forestry and Landscape Information Centre. It will focus on the safest methods for harvesting wood, the most cost-effective way to process it and the best way to market it. It will also promote discussions on sustainable forest management and its importance for meeting society’s demands as well as providing income for future generations. The outdoor area of this information centre will put the spotlight on modern logging trailers, enabling potential buyers to determine which power band and specification is right for them, which safety features they need and so on. Moderated demonstrations will be running in the arena several times a day, featuring logging trailers of various capacities to suit a wide range of requirements. In addition, budding forestry machinery operators will be given the opportunity to test out their skills on simulators before moving on to the real thing.
Fostering young talent While AGRITECHNICA has long been recognised as a ‘must’ for established players in the agricultural sector throughout the world, its organisers also understand the importance of encourag-
ing future generations. To this end, on Thursday 16th November a special Young Farmers Day offers a comprehensive technical programme with information and discussion forums, including themes related to ‘Access to the profession, careers and salaries’. Afterwards, there will be a large panel discussion with international guests followed by the now-famous Young Farmers Party in the TUI Arena.
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Also targeting budding agriculturalists will be the Campus & Career event – a platform for employment, careers, science and research. The comprehensive programme includes: company recruiting stands; universities, colleges and research institutes; academies, media and recruitment agencies and jobs walls; as well as a range of careers advice and occupational guidance from DLG coaches.
Awarding innovation Finally, one of the highlights of this year’s event is the AGRITECHNICA Innovation Award, given to those who have displayed particular leadership in innovation. Winners will be selected by an independent and international jury of experts in various fields, who will honour pioneering developments with both Gold and Silver medals. All products classified as company innovations by a Commission
of Experts will be published both in the Innovation Awards Magazine and on the AGRITECHNICA website. Every firm registered as exhibitors at the show is eligible to take advantage of this unique opportunity to publicise their R&D efforts. For more information about the show, visit: www.agritechnica.com
Integrated solutions for agriculture For Hungary-based Ro-Sys Software Kft, a software developer and leader in ISOBUS-based system integration solutions for agricultural machinery in the central European region, Agritechnica 2017 will be a chance to showcase its latest ISOBUS product family with the open:control and the LogBox.
ccording to a Ro-Sys’s CEO, “The LogBox is a manufacturer-independent logging device which can store all of the tractor data and automatically upload them via a GSM connection to a server. This can be a smart basis for using further online controlling systems. We are working on pilot projects with VisibeFarm, iGazda and Agrovir at this moment.” “Using the LogBox we can feed any kind of web-based server interfaces with real-time machine data without any user intervention needed. We can collect the openCAN, OBD, J1939 and ISOBUS data from the machines at the field and forward them via GSM, Bluetooth or WiFi connection. We can provide GPS (including optional RTK precision) positioning in the device as well. Our goal with the LogBox is to provide a very simple device that can be attached to almost any kind of machine – even the older ones without any cabin.” Alongside the LogBox, the open:control ISOBUS based control units could provide the suitable electronic bases for any small-sized
agricultural machine manufacturers. It’s a very scalable and easy-to-integrate solution with CodeSys interface included for the very fast and almost “plug-and-play” developments. This product is manufactured by the company’s long-term strategy partner for hardware development – ANEDO Ltd – which is a technology-leader ISOBUS OEM manufacturer already working at this field for the last decade. Ro-Sys mainly serves agricultural machinery manufacturers, although a growing secondary target market is industrial mobile development. In the latter it focuses on providing mobile apps and iOS apps, using GPS and Bluetooth-based connected devices.
Investment and growth plans Ro-Sys continues to extend its capabilities: in 2017 it invested in a new prototype production environment in order to be able to create its own devices, using 3D prototyping and testing tools to allow it to check the hardware. The company‘s CEO tells us: “For the coming year we are planning to create a
simple and solid, ISOBUS-based terminal extension to the LogBox, which can provide similar logging possibilities but includes the ISOBUS control functionalities as Task management, Section Control, Variable ApplicationRate handling.” As for its future plans, Ro-Sys has plans to expand further than its main markets of Hungary and Germany, increasing its presence in the central and eastern European countries such as Romania, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. “We are concentrating on the neighboring countries. We would like to start working with some smaller machinery manufacturers together in order to spread our ISOBUS devices, as well as some additional partners to provide local web-based fleet management and controlling solutions using our logging devices.”
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Optimising automotive competence
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FKG is the official non-profit trade organisation of the Scandinavian automotive industry. The 25 year-old organisation is also a member of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, (CLEPA) and utilises this network to increase its contacts and strengthen the position of its suppliers. The association helps OEMs, component manufacturers and designers with everything from advice on legislation and quality control to sourcing new business partners. Philip Yorke reports.
or more than 25 years FKG has made a significant contribution to the development of the automotive industry and suppliers in Scandinavia, by working actively as their spokesperson for the industry to influence, politicians, authorities and the media. The association also creates meeting places to strengthen business relationships, provide opportunities for growth and work to promote future competence and excellence within the automotive industry. FKG also works continuously to improve the industry’s business conditions. This takes place as a result of its contact with government, parliament, trade and commerce organisations, as well as with Scandinavian research institutes and universities. The organisation also collaborates with a wide range of other industries and organisations on temporary one-off projects. Another important role of FKG is to have
contact with the media and to provide information about automotive suppliers and their goals. FKG is consistently consulted when special events take place within the automotive industry.
Promoting new initiatives The automotive trade magazine ‘Vehicle Component’ is published by FKG five times a year and has a circulation approaching 5000 copies. It also contains the Automotive Technical Association member’s magazine, SVEN, which is an informative newsletter presented in e-mail format that is distributed five or six times per month. This important publication promotes new initiatives within the automotive industry and creates various forums for suppliers to discuss the latest developments in order to help them to make key strategic decisions.
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The association also arranges key meeting places to help its members develop new initiatives for their business and to promote growth. A good example of this is the meetings that it arranges at special booths when suppliers gather together at important supplier trade fairs. In addition, FKG arranges business meetings between its members, car manufacturers and component suppliers in other countries under the umbrella title: Go Global.
Meeting future challenges The fast changing and increasing demands on the automotive industry generated by governments and consumers alike is driving the need for new initiatives and new negotiation techniques. FKG continues to develop the competence of its members to deal with future challenges and carries out national branch seminars that cover various topics such as financing, quality, contract law and industrial finance. The association also analyses and comments on current issues affecting the industry so that its members can gain a better understanding of new contracts and thus be able to offer qualified acceptances etc. FKG is the contracting partner in the joint financed automotive research programme that involves manufacturers and government agencies. This on-going programme is called FFI (Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation). The organisation also supports suppliers with the formulation of new projects and applies for funding in order to start projects. FKG carries out a profitability analysis each year of the entire automotive market and when required will examine the
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overall state of the market in relation to such things as the price of raw materials and the changing structure of the industry, and these are carried out at regular intervals.
New branch initiative Recently FKG formulated a new branch initiative for the Swedish automotive industry that is driven by innovation. The initiative is based on a number of key considerations including the on-going collaboration between parties with similar agendas and the prevailing market conditions for growth. In addition, it is based upon the understanding that the automotive industry accounts for sustainable growth and the development of society. It also relies on a commitment from suppliers to carry out research and development programmes as well as offering a trade policy that provides competitive neutrality. As a full member of the European supplier organisation, Clepa, with its head office in Brussels, FKG utilises this well-established network in order to create new contacts and to reinforce the Scandinavian suppliers’ position. Clepa’s strength as an organisation comes partially from its network of large global supplier companies and in part from its national and regional branch organisations. The big companies provide Clepa with leverage in its contacts with the OEM car manufacturers. Furthermore, the many medium-sized component suppliers are represented by its branch organisations, which in turn provides Clepa with legitimacy within the EU.
Increasing value of Scandinavian exports Scandinavia and in Particular Sweden is one of the most dependent regions when it comes to relying on its automotive industries for employment and export revenues. The total value of exports from the Swedish automotive industry, for example, increased to more than K150 billion, which represents 12 per cent of the country’s total exports – making it by far the biggest single industry in Sweden. From an international perspective Sweden is unique with three car manufacturers that are responsible for manufacturing and development. In addition, two of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy vehicles, namely Volvo and Scania, are based in Sweden along with the Volvo Car Corporation. These companies constitute an important part of industry and commerce and significantly impact on Sweden’s economic growth. The Scandinavian automotive industry has a high share of the Nordic country’s exports and
of its combined manufacturing abroad where approximately 85 per cent of passenger cars and 95 per cent of its heavy vehicles are manufactured outside of Scandinavia. The association’s many branch organisations work with other key entities such as the Norwegian organisation Norpart, as well as with many Finnish suppliers. The FKG also collaborates with countless other automotive trade organisations including ACS (Slovenia), AFIA (Portugal), AGORIA (Belgium), ANFIA (Italy), AUTIG (Denmark) and FIOEV (France). FKG works actively to support and promote the automotive industry and its suppliers. In order to be approved for membership the company must have a connection with the automotive industry. This applies to manufacn turing companies, as well as to service companies. For further details concerning the unique range of services offered to the automotive industry by FKG visit: www.fkg.se
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Danish GRAS, the leading high-end measurement microphone specialist, has raised the bar in its sector – the company has just launched a revolutionary new product that will not only fully meet the specifications required for sound applications, but also have a significantly longer service life. Product Manager Jan Hansen explains the benefits of the new product.
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ince its establishment in 1994, GRAS has been dedicated to developing and manufacturing high-quality measurement microphones and related acoustic equipment. The company was founded by the Danish acoustics pioneer Gunnar Rasmussen who, for more than 60 years, has contributed to the world of sound and vibration with his unique ideas and designs. Today the company has evolved into a supplier of the world’s best measurement microphones and accessories – all production is based in Denmark. The measurement microphones are used in many sectors, including aerospace, automotive, audiology, consumer electronics, noise monitoring, building acoustics and telecomm. All GRAS microphones are produced solely in stainless steel and have a five-year warranty. GRAS is represented worldwide in more than 40 countries by subsidiaries and distributors.
Jan Hansen explains that the company has always positioned itself as a very skilled producer of high-end measurement microphones in terms of specifications and technologies: “For several years, we have fine-tuned and customised our solutions for specific customer needs when it comes to different measuring parameters such as temperature, frequency range and similar. Another result of our close collaboration with our customers is our extensive range of form factors, which covers all possible measurement needs.
Simulating real life The focus on product innovation has been one of the factors that has hoisted the company to its current market position. Within the product development stage, each microphone must undergo the most demanding tests, including a series of ‘Highly Accelerated Life Tests’ that actively accelerate the lifetime of the product, by simulating the handling and use it will be exposed to in real life situations. A few years ago the company started to look more closely on the testing needs of the automotive sector. In most countries, all modern vehicles must comply with strict noise directives so thorough automotive testing is vital. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) are essential parameters in the automotive industry when engineers and manufacturers are working on optimising the driver experience and reducing the noise from the vehicle. Both sound quality and comfort have had an increased focus in recent years and have become a competitive differentiator for car makers.
“We could see the need for a microphone with high specifications and that would be able, on top of that, to operate reliably in the harsh environments and conditions that you encounter in real life – such as strong vibrations, shock, drop, extreme temperatures and wet or dusty conditions; in other words, in precisely that environment to which normally measuring microphones are said not to be exposed to,” says Jan Hansen. “So in the course of a year and a half, our R&D specialists tested new materials and designs to come up with something that would meet these requirements without compromising the high quality of measurement.”
Tough and reliable The result is the new 146AE – a measurement microphone especially designed to perform under extreme test conditions, setting a new standard for automotive measurement microphones. It is the world’s only measurement microphone set to be shock resistant, waterproof, dust and oil mist resistant and able to withstand high temperatures – all without compromising measured data quality. The rugged design of the 146AE makes it possible to perform many different types of measurement in the same test set up using only a single type of microphone. Not only does this improve the NVH test performance and data quality in rugged conditions, it also extends the lifetime of the measurement set-up. All this makes the 146AE the most cost-efficient measurement microphone in the market.
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Morten Wille, R&D Project Manager, confirms that the product has undergone some hard testing. The 146AE was vibrated for 60 hours, kept in temperatures varying from -40 °C to +125 °C, dropped horizontally from 150cm onto a hard surface and finally put through a tumbling test by randomly falling 100cm on a floor more than 500 times. “In-house testing is extremely important, to make sure that you have the right materials in the right quality in order to get a product that is tough and reliable in the long term. We call these tests GRAS HALT Highly Accelerated Life Tests.”
Best on the market “We have been talking to the world’s biggest car manufacturers and they are all very interested. NVH is a key aspect and testing is very expensive, so naturally, a product that is very resistant and reliable – and thus increases the test efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness – is very welcome,” Mr Hansen points out, adding that the new microphone will have
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a global reach. “We are not concentrating on a particular geographical market but target the major players in the automotive sector worldwide.” As the first microphone in the industry to meet such high durability and data quality requirements, the 146AE will appeal to other segments too. “Although we now focus on the automotive sector, I anticipate our distributors will come back to us and say that other types of customers are interested in this product. High quality measurement and robustness are two attributes that are important to any industry.” He also confirms that the new microphone will have a positive impact on the whole portfolio. “We have learned a lot from this product development and the knowledge will enable us to make a lot of improvements to our existing product range. Generally speaking, it will enable us to make microphones that are more robust. This is in line with of our plans for the future – to continue to develop and manufacture the world’s best measurement microphones to suit n individual customers’ needs.”
Process Plant and Equipment
A Voice For Process Equipment Producers As one of 38 associations that comprise the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), VDMA Process Plant and Equipment represents the suppliers of process equipment. Industry Europe looks at how it helps its members negotiate the often challenging manufacturing environment and strengthen their operations.
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DMA Process Plant and Equipment’s member companies, today numbering around 280, are active across a wide range of areas that are dealt with separately by the association. These are:
• • • • •
Process Engineering Water and Wastewater Technology Sterile Processing Recooling Technology Oil & Gas Technology
These companies provide engineering, components and plants for many sectors, including: the chemical & petrochemical industry; pharmaceuticals & cosmetics; power generation & distribution; mineral oil and offshore technology, transport and processing; coal, steel & metallurgy; environmental protection; and the food & beverage industry.
Benefits for members This division of VDMA works to promote the interests of its members in a number of different ways. Firstly, it offers a platform for the exchange of ideas between different member companies – such as through the setting up of topic-specific working groups. For example, it is actively supporting its members to work towards Industry 4.0 by offering extensive guidelines and promoting knowledge-sharing. The association also offers industry-specific information on the various markets served by its members, including updates on relevant trade fairs, research projects, technology and legislation. For instance, at the
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beginning of last year the ‘VDMA Technology Guide Oil – Gas – Petrochemistry’ was published for the benefit of process technology users in the petrochemical and oil & gas industries. Alongside this, members have access to up-to-date primary and secondary statistics to help them keep an eye on market fluctuations. When it comes to attendance at trade fairs, membership of the VDMA gives companies a unique advantage in that they share common representation and can also showcase their products and solutions at specialist symposia organised by the association itself. In November this year, the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce and VDMA are organising, on behalf of the Federal Min-
Process Plant and Equipment
istry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), a Delegation to Norway. This will present Industry 4.0-related products and solutions for the oil & gas offshore industry as well as covering a professional symposium and relevant site visits. Sales support is also an important benefit of being a part of the VDMA. This is carried out via publications and global distribution of industry catalogues, as well as the maintenance of an online directory containing details of all member companies. The directory enables member companies to inform potential customers throughout the world about their products, with the most recent edition including a table that provides, for the first time, information on equipment manufacturers for the oil & gas industry. In addition to the above, the association is able to offer image promotion through industry-specific press and public relations in publications both in Germany and abroad.
Core principles Of course, like all the many separate divisions within the association, VDMA Process Plant and Equipment adheres to the principles of the VDMA as a whole, which are rooted in the four key concepts of: ‘Creating the corporate tomorrow’; ‘Networked thinking, networked actions’; ‘Technology for you and me’; and ‘Europe and the world’. The first of these, ‘Creating the corporate tomorrow’, refers to the association’s focus on creating more competition and freedom for its members. It uses its personal contacts with politicians, the business
world and leading institutions to ensure its finger is always on the pulse and to push for growth on all levels. The VDMA sees ‘Networked thinking’ as crucial to the continued success of the engineering sector. In its own words, this means “being able to combine experience and intelligence from different fields such as electrical engineering, software, mechanics, optronics and sensors (to name just an handful), and to turn their hightech products into world-beating technological innovations. Such challenging tasks can only be accomplished by deploying closely networked knowledge. This is the main strength of the VDMA.” When it comes to technology, as we have seen above, the association believes in the importance of keeping its members in tune with the latest developments in their own subsectors and across the industry as a whole. A cogent example of this is in the area of sustainability and energy conservation. According to VDMA, “We emphasise just how actively the industry helps to preserve resources – by developing technologies which help minimise the specific CO2 emissions during the generation of energy, for example.” Finally, VDMA is keen to help its members expand not just in Europe, but also internationally. From location analyses and market monitoring through to appearances at international trade shows, member companies are supported in developing properly targeted strategies and implementing export-oriented measures. To this end, today there are VDMA offices in China, India, Russia and Japan. n For more information, visit: https://vtma.vdma.org/en/home
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Process Plant and Equipment
Go with the flow The next best thing to creating more natural resources, global leader Pentair creates products and solutions that help people to make the best use of the resources they rely on most. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to director Dr Roland Folz to gain an insight into this truly innovative company.
Pentair makes perfect sense
nnovation isn’t just a good idea at Pentair: it’s a philosophy, a complete way of thinking that impacts on everything the company achieves. With its dedication to utilising alternative energy on a large scale and protecting and maximising natural resources, this successful company is a global leader in solutions and equipment for water, fluid and thermal management. Managing to balance its over 50-year old history with a refreshingly modern entrepreneurial approach, Pentair has long been a company driven by vision. Its smart story of mergers, acquisitions and organic growth has seen the development of a forward-thinking, realistic yet exciting operation, with an ever-expanding roster of ‘some of the most important flow management and thermal solution products in the industry’.
Director Dr Roland Folz is the perfect interviewee; he knows Pentair inside out and is both passionate and pragmatic about the sustainability focus that underpins the company’s every action. Dr Folz said, “Pentair is part of something special and always has been. Our strong focus on sustainability means that we are continually creating technology that involves utilising alternative energy on a large scale. We close the loop from a technical side. Why would we waste something as precious as irreplaceable natural resources? What we do makes perfect sense.” Pentair offers sustainable solutions across industry sectors, with its core areas of operation including advanced filtration and desalination, aquatic and aquaculture systems, crop spray and crop protection, flood water and waste water systems, food and beverage processing, irrigation management, equipment and electronics protection, fastening solutions and thermal building solutions. With Dr Folz representing the Pentair divisions of food and beverage processing in particular, his efforts are focused on driving initiatives in sustainable energy and he is primarily concerned with biogas and waste management. He continued, “Pentair is innovating solutions designed to extract energy out of waste material, so that could be water reuse, water recovery, identifying water stress regions...We give clear, technologically-advanced advice for building plants with efficient processes so water isn’t wasted and product isn’t wasted. In the food and beverage sector, which is my particular speciality, we create smart filtration solutions that help reduce water waste, while at the same time reducing solid waste. We also integrate end-of-pipe solutions, so that’s a complete cycle.”
No need to waste Alongside water waste reduction and management, Dr Folz is focused on emissions. He noted, “We look a lot into our expertise with gas management, which has taken us to our leading position regarding CO2 capturing and recovery. We’re very much at the forefront, driving innovation in this exciting industry. Our success in CO2 capturing and recovery is part of how we are succeeding through differentiated solutions, even compared to larger players.” These differentiated solutions are integral to Pentair’s exhaustive understanding of how to reduce, utilise and capture natural resources, while creating uncompromising standards of safety, sanitation and performance. The company ensures it stays close to Industry Europe 43
both the market and its customers, which in turn guarantees that it understands the changing needs and demands of both parties. Dr Folz said, “The population is changing, which impacts on the types of solutions that are required; for example, the globally-growing middle class will increase food demand. We participate by innovating safe, sustainable solutions to help increase production with fewer resources, such as being at the cutting edge of clean processing up to aseptic processing.”
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Good for everyone, everywhere Dr Folz continued to explain how Pentair’s long-term focus on sustainability and safe process design across every aspect of its highly-respected business has always gone beyond ‘box ticking’. He said, “Sustainability is not something we’ve been pushed into; it’s not about quotas or CSR. Sustainability has always been our natural partner, the company has always followed this philosophy – creating solutions that are good for everyone and everything is a good fit.”
Indeed, it is this philosophy that will continue to see Pentair’s success bloom even more in the coming years. Dr Folz concluded, “Even though we have thought this way for many decades, we continue to be the right choice for many customers as they start to appreciate that being smart with our natural resources is essentially no longer a choice. We help our customers achieve that; we enable them to fulfil their goals. We are a dynamic, innovative, fast-paced company that is packed with people with the right mindset; it’s exciting working at Pentair and it’s exciting working with Pentair. Our technology curve continues to move upwards and I’m very happy to have new customers and new team members along for n the ride!”
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Process Plant and Equipment
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Steuler Anlagenbau draws on its extensive experience to offer the best flue gas purification plant for the respective application.
Plant that grows
Leading European engineering company Steuler Anlagenbau has been building industrial plant from concept to completion for satisfied customers across the world. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to head of equipment Werner Sturm to find out more.
he roots of Steuler reach back to 1908 when it was founded in Germany as a global specialist for acid-resistant and refractory linings. Constant development and enhancement of its engineering capabilities have seen the company achieve its position as a world-respected turnkey solutions provider for industrial plant that harnesses the very latest in technological capabilities. Since 1965, Steuler Anlagenbau has operated as a division of the Steuler Group with its headquarters in Hoehr-Grenzhausen, which is where it manages its global network of subsidiaries, partner firms and agencies that provide support to customers across the world.
Steuler regeneration and wastewater treatment technology - less environmental impact and higher process quality of the surface treatment plant.
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Head of Steuler Anlagenbau Werner Sturm spoke to Industry Europe, explaining how the company’s global footprint delivers consistently impressive results: “We are an engineering company at heart, and this is the focus of everything we do. We work in niche markets, particularly surface and environmental technologies, and we are proud that we deliver reliable, sustainable and effective solutions to our customers’ specific demands.” The strapline ‘We build your plant’ is a wonderfully clear description of what Steuler Anlagenbau delivers to its customers. Werner Sturm explains: “Customers can be assured that we will build their
Process Plant and Equipment Proven technologies and systems – expandable surface treatment plants thanks to modular design.
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High plant availability, high surface quality, high operating flexibility – Steuler Anlagenbau has the ideal solution for each demand in surface treatment technology.
entire plant, a turnkey solution from a single provider. We handle every detail to ensure that the whole plant is built to the best possible standard, including detailed engineering, procurement, complete units, surveys and environmental technology. Steuler plant is built to be future-proof; we integrate environmentally smart solutions that reduce waste, reduce costs and improve productivity.”
Active worldwide Steuler Anlagenbau is a truly global player, with an average 90 per cent of projects being delivered outside of its domestic German market. Werner Sturm: “Our equipment and solutions are widely respected for their impressive engineering and design, particularly in the fields of steel, stainless steel and energy – for example power
stations and turbines – as well as the business of waste energy on the environmental side. We are proud to be doing the right thing; the future is not environmental technology by itself but rather the products of environmental engineering integrated into the process. The exciting thing is that we make those integrated processes. We integrate advanced environmental engineering solutions such as waste recycling which reduces operating costs and improves production quality. So it’s not about sustainability as a standalone focus, but how responsible solutions can work together with the plant and with how our customers’ businesses operate, in order to consistently deliver long-term environmentally sound solutions on a daily basis.” One example of how Steuler Anlagenbau applies this approach is with its surface treatment line offer. Here, the treated surface
Steuler Anlagenbau draws on its extensive experience to offer the best flue gas purification plant for the respective application.
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Process Plant and Equipment
automatically ensures that up to zero liquid discharge occurs for the production of steel or during surface treatment processes, thereby creating minimal landfill or pollutants. Werner Sturm: “Through smart equipment and process delivery, we make intelligent surface treatments at the production stage and in the long-term performance of the surface itself. We try to transfer pollutants as a raw material or convert them into natural components of the air so that the impact is as reduced as possible. Basically, our focus is on making sure we don’t create any new problems for the environment – we want to deliver performance-focused plant that has a negligible impact on the earth, both in its build and the use to which it is put.”
Complete solutions In order to consistently deliver these impressive engineering solutions, Steuler Anlagenbau relies on its team of skilled engineers and technicians, the majority of whom are based in the company’s German countryside location. Werner Sturm: “Our workforce is highly skilled, and we are keen to keep our expertise as we know that is truly to our advantage. We like to employ engineers and technicians
who have some connection to our rural location, because we are not in a big city; people may have family here or have studied nearby. Our average length of employment is 25 years! We always hope to recruit and train people and have them be happy to work here until they retire. We have a wonderful working environment, and we are passionate about supporting and encouraging our employees in their personal and professional development. We invest in their development, and it is a benefit to us too.” With Steuler Anlagenbau clearly succeeding long-term in what is a very fast-moving niche of the engineering plant sector, Werner Sturm is proud to highlight that the company is predicting continued positive results: “Of course the market is hard to read, as there are always different issues and challenges. But what we do know is that reducing operating costs, improvements in environmental performance and in quality are always in demand. We keep these values at our core. Customers are always interested in these results and we are always able to deliver. Steuler is in the driving seat; other companies follow where we lead. We are proud that this is our role; our responsibility. n Yes, it comes with higher risks but also with greater benefits.”
Recycling of pollutants back into raw materials – Steuler flue gas purification plant for power stations
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Star performance The Czech engineering company Seco Group, a producer of mowing tractors, significantly increased its sales last year and has reinforced its position in the European market. One of the key factors behind this success was the introduction of Starjet, an innovative product designed for the most demanding customers. Romana Moares reports.
he Czech Seco Group, a successor of the renowned traditional agricultural equipment manufacturer Agrostroj Jičín, had a good year – the company managed to increase the sales of its smallsize tractors by almost 20 per cent to 8900 pieces, and is planning to increase its export volumes to 80 per cent this year. In Poland, for example, its sales increased five-fold compared to the previous year. The company, which employs almost 700 people, expects another increase this year, to over 1.3 billion Czech crowns. The Seco Group is the biggest manufacturer of mowing tractors in the Czech Republic, and has been in the business, without interruption, since 1895. It was founded to make agricultural machines and tools, including ploughs, seed drills, hoes, tedders and rakes, and later also threshers. In 1895, the production of grass and cereal mowers was introduced. Production was gradually expanded and in 1913 a foundry was built – these two production lines still represent the core businesses of today’s company. Seco Group also has a transport division, which distributes spare parts for Škoda Auto. The company now controls about one third of the local mowing machines market.
Robust and reliable The engineering division, with its production of small tractors, generates about 40 per cent of total output. At present, Seco Group supplies 11 small tractor models including the sturdy grass tractors Starjet
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and Crossjet riders. The Starjet series is the main line, accounting for about two-thirds of total mower sales. Starjet tractors are designed for the cutting or mulching of regularly maintained grass areas, and are the most widely used tractors in the Czech Republic for the maintenance of football pitches and other grass-covered sports grounds. The group invests 25 million SEK per year in the modernisation of its production technologies, of which up to 7 million is spent on development and innovation. The latest innovation to come from its research and development department is a mowing tractor with a high-rise tipping basket (grass collector), which significantly improves operator comfort. This product was about a year in development and the company will produce about 300 units by the end of the first year, although it plans to increase its annual output to 500. The tractors are sold under the name Starjet Exclusive PRO in two versions, both equipped with a twin-rotor cutting unit placed between axles. Both version of the tractor can be used year-round. Seco boasts modern technology for metal processing which, in addition to the manufacture of its own products, can also be sub-contracted to external customers for their own unit production. A comprehensive CAD/CAM solution, the production of accessories and fixtures can also be offered, if required. “Our continued strategy is to offer robust, reliable and safe machines with a high added value,” says sales manager Zdeněk Pecl. “That is also
the reason why most of the key components, over 70 per cent to be exact, are made in-house in our workshops, which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.”
Sound footing The company’s foundry mainly supplies the automotive industry. It produces embedded cylinders for diesel engines and various castings of ductile cast iron. “We are one of the leading foundries in the
Czech Republic in the area of smaller, precision cast pieces from ductile iron for the European manufacturers of cars and trucks, tractors and construction machinery. We are the dominant manufacturer of inserted liners for diesel engines in the Czech Republic and an important supplier to many renowned engine manufacturers, particularly in the EU,” says Mr Pecl. He further confirms that suppliers play a highly important role in the company’s success, citing its excellent relationship with Kawasaki as an example.
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In addition to Poland, the company has also significantly increased sales in the domestic market, where approximately 45 per cent of the mowers are purchased by private users, the same percentage by municipalities, and the rest going to sports clubs. Key export markets include Germany, France and other countries of the European Union. Tractors from Jičín are also used in Russia, Bela-
rus and Turkey as well as further afield in Australia, New Zealand, China and South Korea. The Seco Group seeks to tailor its product portfolio to customers across different countries, climate conditions and market legislation. Flexibility, variety of customised solutions, perfect craftsmanship and superb quality are the key attributes that will form the basis of n the company’s success in the future.
Kawasaki Seco Group have been partnering with Kawasaki Engines since 2013, having selected the engine manufacturer for their most powerful mowing tractor, the Goliath 4WD. Supplied through Kawasaki Engines Czech distributor, Asko KC, s.r.o., Seco chose the Kawasaki FS730V and FS600V; both powerful V-twin petrol engines, designed to cope with the demands of commercial mowing and grounds maintenance. “We chose Kawasaki for the exceptional build quality and durability of their engines”, comments Petr Fischer, Area Sales Manager at Seco Group. “They offer sustained performance in the toughest ground conditions.” He continues, “Goliath is designed for the mulching of unmaintained and neglected areas such as side ditches and ski slopes, even river and pond beds. It can cut through extremely tough vegetation including wild roses and high reeds, and so we needed an engine that could match the demands of these challenging environments.” Kawasaki’s range of petrol engines are designed for applications used by professional operators and are built to withstand heavy usage. Their V-twin engines in particular are renowned for their performance and durability, powering professional grade ride-on mowers for many of the world’s best-known turfcare manufacturers.
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Similarly Kawasaki’s single cylinder range, the FJ Series, is engineered specifically to meet the requirements of heavy professional use. Although often used to power commercial standard walkbehind mowers, it’s applications are not restricted to turfcare, with Kawasaki FJ engines also powering industrial equipment such as generators and pumps. Across Europe, however, Kawasaki Engines are perhaps most well known for their 2-stroke engine range, the TJ Series, frequently seen powering a diverse range of handheld products from brushcutters and hedgetrimmers used by groundscare professionals, to vertical tampers employed in the rail industry. “We are proud to power a wide range of applications across the turfcare, groundscare, industrial and related industries”, comments Jack Ford, Senior Product Manager at Kawasaki Engines European Division. “Not only are we committed to supplying high quality 2 and 4-stroke petrol engines, but also to support them in the market through our European Service Network, enabled by national distributors such as Asko KC.” He continues, “As a General Purpose Engine Division, we have just celebrated 60 years of production and we look forward to delivering reliable power solutions to our customers for the next 60 years and beyond.”
Optimising cool solenoids Amisco is a privately owned, family managed company based in Italy. It is a global leader in the design and manufacture of encapsulated electric coils, complete solenoid-operated valves and pneumatic pilot valves for industry. The company continues to expand its portfolio and global footprint by increasing yet further its presence in the world’s emerging economies and developing new state-of-the-art products. Strong global growth sectors include the pneumatic, refrigeration and hydraulic industries, as Philip Yorke reports.
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Automation & Robotics
misco was founded in Italy in 1936 by Alessandro Novelloni to manufacture transceivers and, by the 1950s, television sets. The Novellino family re-named the company ‘Amisco’ in 1974 and following consistent growth it has become a world leader in the manufacture of solenoids, coils and pilot valves. The Amisco Group designs and manufactures standardised as well as customised encapsulated electronic coils for a broad range of industrial applications. These include specialised products for industrial pneumatics and hydraulics, truck pneumatics, fluid control systems, automotive, refrigeration and heating applications. Today the Amisco Group is composed of four different divisions headquartered at its extensive facilities in Paderno Dugnano, Milan. This state-of-the-art facility is comprised of more than 8000 square metres of production and bench testing facilities. Currently the Amisco Group employs more than 500 people worldwide and in 2016 recorded sales of more than €65 million. The company is also fully ISO 9000 certified. This well-established, family owned company is headed by Cesare Novelloni, who is president and
general manager of the group and son of the company’s founder. Today he runs the company in association with his sisters Donata and Alessandra.
Customised diversity Amisco’s strong orientation to the development of both standard and customised products sets it apart from its competition on the global stage. The company is a worldwide partner for clients that need highly specialised, innovative products in order to meet their specific requirements across all continents and markets. The main fields of application covered by Amisco are pneumatics, for both standard solenoid operators and pilot valves, as well as OEM designed products. For the automotive industries, it is focused on the design of pneumatic valves for trucks and coils for applications under the car bonnet. Fluid control systems also benefit from the company’s coils, solenoids and magnets for industrial automation, processing, refrigeration and medical applications, among many others. Hydraulics is a segment that is served with coils for both the industrial and mobile equipment markets.
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Affiliate group companies include ‘Sali’, which is based in Castellioni and is responsible for medium volume production runs; and ‘Sacem’, based near Monza, which is designed for the assembly and final testing of pneumatic components for solenoids. In 2006, Amisco Acsc was established in Shenzhen, China, in order to manufacture a diverse range of coils for the Far Eastern market.
Expanding standard product ranges In recent years the company has been continuing to expand its standard product ranges and is phasing out some of its less profitable customised products. Subsequently, Amisco has been upgrading its 10mm, 15mm and 22mm valve ranges and putting more investment into the development and manufacture of solenoids for the refrigeration industry with its
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advanced EV13 product range. In addition, it has been developing its PS16 coils for the automotive industry, which represents over 25 per cent of its total sales. All Amisco products are backed by a strict quality guarantee and are fully tested throughout each production stage. Amisco works in close partnership with its key suppliers, which it sees as being vital to its continuing success. As a result, it works with some of the leading players in a variety of industry sectors, including Cassarollo Piero, Almet, Mca and Gi-fe for shearing. The group also works with Spema and Ghidini Electromeccanica for its assembly processes. For its high quality copper coils it retains Irce, Elektrisola Artesina and Essex Italy. The company’s major plastics suppliers are Du Pont de Namours, Domo Engineering and Mito Polimeri for raw materials and Marca,
Automation & Robotics
Arte Plast and Mex Plast for moulding. Turnings for the group are provided by Viglienghi, Torneria Colombo and Record, while Vmc is relied on for numerous industrial treatments.
Expanding global footprint Amisco has been increasing its presence in all the major global markets for many years and as a result more than 80 per cent of its products are exported to over 35 countries across four continents. Europe remains its primary market; however continuous investment in the Americas and in particular the US and Brazil, as well as India, Taiwan and China, has resulted in strong growth in these regions. By creating a global network of sales and distribution agents the company has been able to increase its presence in its global markets significantly. Localised production has continued to be an important factor with the creation of a new, modern manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic to serve the eastern European markets. With its focus on new product development and the expansion of its manufacturing facilities worldwide, the future for Amisco n looks assured. For further details of the Amisco Group’s innovative products and services visit: www.amisco.it
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Leader in packaging machinery solutions With over 60 years of experience in the field, Comexi has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of flexographic presses to suit the market’s most demanding requirements. As a global supplier, offering cutting-edge solutions in gravure printing, laminating and slitting, the company has developed the most revolutionary solution for the most demanding clients: offset printing with central drum.
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Automation & Robotics
omexi, founded in 1954 by the Xifra family, has a wide experience in manufacturing capital goods for the flexible packaging printing and converting industry. Comexi is made up of five product lines, each one specialised in a different conversion process: flexographic printing, offset printing, gravure printing, laminating, slitting and rewinding, as well as Industry 4.0. Each line provides global solutions to the demands of the constantly evolving market, with competitive and personalised equipment including the latest solutions in innovation, technology and sustainability – the three characteristics that define Comexi’s spirit and have made the company a leader in machinery solutions for the whole flexible packaging conversion sector. Following its strategy of being the main global supplier for the flexible packaging industry, Comexi has also positioned itself as one of the leading and most cutting-edge companies in the development of solutions for laminating and coating, as well as slitting and rewinding. Its solutions for laminating and coating reduce the environmental impact with solvent-free and water-based tape applications as well as the usual solvent-based laminating. The company also offers the most sophisticated slitting and rewinding machines, researching and innovating constantly to satisfy the most demanding needs of the clients and end consumers, such as laser technology, labeling, robotisation and automation.
At the forefront In 2016 and 2017, Comexi introduced new solutions including the Comexi F1 flexo press and Comexi F2 ML flexo press. It also created the Comexi S1 MS slitter. Moreover, in the coming weeks the group is launching a new laminator machine, the Comexi ML2, which offers total versatility to cover all kind of applications in the flexible packaging market. The new Comexi F1 flexo press with robot technology offers a fully automatic changeover system for all the decks: sleeves, adapters and anilox. This innovation significantly reduces the changeover time and increases performance, improving the ergonomics and safety for the operator. The highly efficient press increases production output by at least 25 per cent, while allowing for the printing of
30 per cent more customised work. On the other hand, the Comexi F2 ML flexo press is an excellent machine from the point of view of profitability, designed to get the best quality at high speeds with large repeats. This flexographic press stands out for its high degree of versatility, while maintaining the ergonomics and usability features of all the Comexi F2 range. Also, Comexi developed a revolutionary solution that adapts to the demanding time to market concept: offset printing with Central Impression Cylinder, which offers reduced costs per print and lessens the environmental impact thanks to the solvent-free EB offset inks. In this sense, over the past few months the group has completed new innovations and improvements and, currently, this machine offers maximum quality and is more competitive in terms of time-to-market. It can also achieve better production flexibility because its offset plates can be imaged on the site within minutes. The Comexi CI8 also stands out from the point of view of sustainability, aligning perfectly with Comexi’s environmental commitment. This technology has received two EMAS Awards for its sustainability credentials. In response to the latest market demands, Comexi has developed its Cloud tool in order to make the jump to Industry 4.0. This tool provides the customer with real time and online data about production speeds, production output, productivity, set-up times, number of reels produced and downtime for preventive maintenance and repairs. It goes even further with job costing analytics, based on production time, film, inks and energy consumption. With this tool, factories and brand owners can see and understand quickly and easily all their data and processes to facilitate optimum decision-making.
A complete package Comexi’s production facilities cover more than 36,000m2, divided into three production centres in Riudellots de la Selva (Girona, Spain), Montenegro (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) and Piacenza (Italy). All three production centers are working at its maximum production capacity. In addition, the company operates a commercial network in over 100 countries and has recently expanded its Service and Technical Assistance Department (SAT) in USA, Canada and South-East Asia Industry Europe 63
to offer a faster response to customers. At present, Comexi offers 24/7 technical service and assistance worldwide. Comexi’s key sector is flexible packaging. Its effective organisation with business units for each product line, together with in-house R&D and product marketing teams, enable them to develop the necessary products required by customers and converters, and meet the latest trends and market demands. Apart from that, Comexi has the Manel Xifra Boada Technological Centre, Comexi CTec, a knowledge driver in the flexible packaging industry. Comexi CTec services cover several processes within the flexible packaging field
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and are divided into four areas: Consultancy, Innovation services, Demo Centre and Industrial Laboratory and Training and Academic activities. In 2017, Comexi CTec had more than 15,000 attendees to its 20 specialised courses.
Securing market leadership Comexi’s key sales markets are Europe and America. All figures indicate that the company will experience significant growth worldwide during the coming years. Therefore, the group expects further consolidation of flexible packaging converters, which will result in a
Automation & Robotics
consolidation of factories and strategic investment plans in printing and converting equipment. In its turn, the market for manufacturers will also be consolidated and Comexi will be active in developing its manufacturing and service footprint on a global scale. On a global scale, although the largest flexible packaging market in terms of value is North America, followed by Europe, the biggest flexible packaging growth market is undoubtedly Asia. This creates very interesting opportunities as demand for printing presses and converting equipment is anticipated to increase here and Comexi will ready to satisfy that demand.
The group has achieved significant growth over the past few years, owing mainly to the success of its flexographic, laminating, slitting and gravure technologies. At the same time, the company has been investing in research and developing successful innovative solutions, such as the Comexi CI8 offset printer. Furthermore, thanks to its Comexi CTec technological centre, the group has been able to position itself as a technological frontrunner, which has a deep and extensive knowledge of the flexible packaging industry. Looking forward, the group plans to grow through strategic partnerships, securing its market leadership by n developing new technologies in the flexible packaging industry.
AVT AVT’s WorkFlow Link Solutions provide the essential connection between Printing and Finishing, for efficient removal of defective material Based on best in class 100% automatic inspection, it enables the best of both worlds – superior process control and waste savings, as well as 100% quality assurance, ensuring that your customers receive defect-free material. WorkFlow link maximizes your entire operation with increased efficiency by eliminating the need for manual inspection – so you can run your converting machinery at maximum speed stopping automatically only at the relevant defective sections to be removed. From printing through lamination, to rewinding, slitting or doctoring process, AVT’s Workflow Link is both efficient and cost-effective. Once deployed, it carefully tracks and controls the removal of defective material to help you deliver only quality products.
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High-performance precision Fidia is a global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced control systems and high-speed milling machines. The company is pro-active in the automotive and aerospace industries and continues to invest more than 10 per cent of its revenues in cutting-edge research and new product development. Philip Yorke looks at the group’s latest innovative products and its strategy for growth.
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Automation & Robotics
idia SpA was founded in 1974 by two bright young engineers who were interested in the manufacture of mini-calculators for industrial automation applications. This was an emerging and innovative industrial sector at that time, and Fidia’s entrepreneurial and engineering skills ensured its place in an exciting and challenging new industrial era. Since those early days the company has seen consistent growth and has been designing and producing Numerical Controls for the management of high-tech machine tools for mould machining, as well as manufacturing the world’s most efficient highspeed milling machines. In addition to its strong organic growth, Fidia has accelerated its growth further by establishing subsidiaries in the key industrial markets of the world. In the early 1990s Fidia extended its product portfolio by developing the world’s first truly high-speed milling machines. Today two thirds of the group’s turnover comes from this business division. It is worth remembering that, in over 40 years of operation, Fidia has never lost sight of its strong commitment to innovation in all its various technological fields. The company currently employs more
than 500 people worldwide and in 2016 recorded sales of over €50 million. Since the year 2001, Fidia has been listed on the Milan stock exchange.
Vertical integration One of Fidia’s many unique selling propositions is its ability to offer complete turnkey systems, from the initial design to the special software featured in its high-speed milling machines. Customers can therefore rely on just one supplier for all their needs and, in addition, Fidia takes responsibility for every element of its production and after sales service. All Fidia’s components are designed, developed and manufactured in the company’s own state-of-the-art plants in Italy. The entire production process for all models is handled at its extensive facilities in Turin and Forli, thus ensuring optimal quality control and management systems. More than 90 per cent of Fidia’s products are exported to over 50 countries worldwide. A company spokesman added, “Our high level of vertical integration is recognised as a significant asset by our
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clients. Fidia’s fully integrated manufacturing system enables us to participate in and win numerous bids at the international level. Our value-added proposals are appreciated not only by China and other major emerging markets, but also the mature western markets from the USA to Europe. One of our defining features is the fact that our extensive R&D facilities are operational 24/7 and are responsible for many of our ground-breaking high-tech products.” Today the Fidia Group spans the globe with subsidiaries in Europe, the USA, South America and Asia. Fidia GmbH was established in Germany in 1984 in order to provide technical support for all Fidia Group products in Germany, Austria and the German-speaking countries of Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
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Also established in 1984 was the company’s US subsidiary in Rochester Hills, Michigan, to service the US and Canadian markets. Following the continuing global demand for its products, Fidia established further subsidiaries in Paris, France, Bilbao, Spain, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Moscow, Russia, as well as in Beijing and Shenyang, China.
Unrivalled precision and performance Precision and performance have been the hallmarks of Fidia products since the company was founded in 1974. A prime example of this is its latest D321 range of high-speed milling machines designed for high-precision, mould finishing applications. Their compact size offers an unusually large working envelope for a variety of complex
Automation & Robotics
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mould finishing applications. Their wide door openings are ideal for the loading of large and heavy workpieces while offering unsurpassed visibility throughout. Fast and extremely precise, the D321 takes advantage of the specific Fidia head-choices of continuous or bi-indexed applications depending upon the application. The product’s upper gantry has proved to be the most sought after for its stiffness and dynamic accuracy. This cuttingedge product offers five direct-driven ball-screws and brushless motors as well as a large multi-guides system. With Fidia’s unique high-speed technology, manual finishing at the end of the milling process is virtually eliminated. As a result, more complex forms can be produced with significantly enhanced quality, while machining times are also greatly reduced. Fidia has expanded its production capacity in this sector through the acquisition of Mechanica Cortini, Sitra Automazioni and Simav. Currently Fidia produces five types of high-speed milling machines: HS664, G996, D Series, K Series and the new GTF Gantry line. Differentiated by size, architecture and application, every advanced Fidia milling system is positioned at the top end of the high-speed market in terms of performance and reliability. Consequently Fidia machines offer radical advantages compared to traditional milling machines in terms of removed material ratios, precision and performance. Perhaps even more importantly, each
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Fidia machine overcomes the traditional cutting limitations experienced on tough materials such as austenitic alloys and hardened n steel up to 70HRC. For further details of the Fidia Group’s latest innovative products and services, visit: www.fidia.it
Automation & Robotics
Pioneer in motion
Since its establishment, the name Schneeberger has been a synonym for modern linear technology all over the world. Over the years the company has introduced many technological innovations, which have set new market standards.
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stablished in 1923, today Schneeberger stands for pioneering innovations in linear motion technology. Linear bearings and profiled rail guideways together with measuring systems, racks, slides, positioning systems and mineral casting are all part of its extensive manufacturing capability and product range. Schneeberger serves original equipment manufacturers operating in various industries worldwide – from machine tool, solar and semiconductor technology to electrical and medical engineering, among others. Schneeberger commercial companies and sole agents are present in all the main industrialised countries, ensuring a global customer service.
Optimum profiled guideways for heavy loads Highly reliable profiled linear guideways are fundamental when the heaviest loads in milling, turning, drilling or grinding machines need to be moved in an accurate manner. The Monorail MR Schneeberger product line is the ideal solution for the most varied types of applications and for very different weight categories, as it is able to handle heavy tools of up to 150 tonnes – always with the utmost precision. When producing large engines to manufacture generators or dealing with aeronautical or space technology, as well as with other
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heavy machinery producing sectors, the components that need to be moved to work centres are often very heavy. Maximum precision is nevertheless required in their manufacture, and thus the linear guideways used in this process are a decisive and fundamental factor. Precisely because of their full awareness of this issue, with the MR Monorail range the Schneeberger technicians and engineers have developed profiled guideways which are custom-designed for this type of application and are available in five different sizes. For normal applications the standard version allows for accelerations up to 50m/s2 and is designed for speeds up to 3m/s. In addition to this, Schneeberger is able to supply guideways of different sizes calibrated to the specific precision categories of the various applications – from G3 (standard) to G2 and from G1 to G60 (high precision).
Profiled guideways with rollers Schneeberger’s high precision Monorail MR roller guideways are used worldwide for a broad range of mechanical engineering applications: from simple handling tasks to difficult machining processes. The newest generation, the MR 4S series, introduces four major improvements relating to the distribution of lubricants, dirt resist-
Automation & Robotics
ance, shock resistance, and serviceability. Eight rail widths and four carriage sizes are available, and the user has a choice of two accuracy and preload classes.
Profiled guideways with balls In order to meet more extensive demands, Schneeberger has developed new carriage types which expand on the previous ‘standard’ and ‘compact’ versions. The new carriages are shorter and/or lower, and do not necessarily conform to the ISO standards. This opens up further areas of application, for example in woodworking and sheetmetal working or in water jet and laser cutting systems. The familiar strengths are also featured in the new carriages for the Monorail BM guideways. These are efficiently sealed with longitudinal and transverse wipers, preventing dirt from penetrating and minimising lubricant loss. This ensures a longer service life with minimum maintenance. The optimised roll body rotation gives the BM systems outstanding running characteristics; in particular, they run smoothly with low pulsation, low friction and high travel speeds. Moreover, it’s possible to also integrate AMS positioning into the reading system. The basic technical structure of all systems within the Monorail MR range is identical. The basic bodies of the guide carriage and the track are manufactured in high quality hardened steel, so as to guarantee their longevity. The rotating bodies used are rollers of a special shape, designed to obtain maximum rigidity and a high static and dynamic system load capacity. In order to prevent dirt infiltration and lubricant leakage the company’s technicians have mounted cross double-lip wipers on the front terminal plates. If the guideways have to be used in extreme external conditions,
Schneeberger can supply optional features including additional wipers, which can be inserted directly on the guideway, thus facilitating replacement or boosting operations even in the spaces between the guide carriages. Schneeberger is extremely well-positioned on the market both from a financial and technological point of view. Its aim is to maintain sustained growth and continue to shape its future. It intends to remain faithful to its mission of helping its customers build machines enabling them to manufacture innovative products, offering increased performance in technological as well as in economic terms. The company is able to perform at these levels, thanks to the fact that it has at its disposal broad specialist knowledge, gained from many successful projects in various industries. In addition to this, it works closely with its customers, with whom it evaluates the optimum products from its standard range or alternatively defines project-specific solutions. Thanks to its years of experience and consistent focus on linear technology, Schneeberger is in a position to continually develop its products and solutions and thus provide its customers with many technical advantages. FEM calculations and 3D simulations allow the company to determine whether the required specifications and characteristics can be achieved – all before the first prototypes are built. Schneeberger products are manufactured in the company’s own production facilities, utilising the most advanced manufacturing technologies and highly skilled employees. The manufacturing process is subjected to demanding and application oriented checks and inspections, thanks to which the highest level of quality is guarn anteed at all times. Industry Europe 73
Go with the flow IMI FAS is proud to create high-technology solutions that are ‘smaller and better’. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the Managing Director, Martin Maas, to understand how the company’s philosophy of solving problems has enabled it to be widely respected for pushing boundaries and creating answers.
ounded in 1971 in Geneva, Switzerland, and later acquired by IMI Precision Engineering, IMI FAS is a recognised market leader in fluid control solutions, specialising in miniature solenoid valve technology and Microfluidics. Right from the start, IMI FAS has been dedicated to solving problems, as Managing Director Martin Maas explained to Industry Europe, “We have long been associated with our impressively high level of customisation. We push boundaries. We can reach levels of customisation that our competitors don’t want to go to; that’s not to say that they may not be capable of that, but rather that is our business model, and our passion. We always want to take solutions as far as they can go, to push the specification so the product is smaller, lighter and faster.”
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This focus on consistently creating innovative and high-technology solutions that reach an impressive level of customisation is why IMI FAS only offers tailor-made products. Mr Maas continued, “You will not find a IMI FAS catalogue; all our products are specifically projectbased and we have no standard products. We have platforms as starting points for creating new solutions that harness our experience of over 40 years.”
Something special As part of the global IMI Precision Engineering, IMI FAS is a Swiss company which is engaged in the development and enhancement of solenoid technology. The company has built a unique reputation as a
Automation & Robotics
pioneering and innovative company with a passion for achieving excellence in sophisticated technologies. Mr Maas said, “We’re special in what we do; we focus on industries that really need what we’re good at. These industries are those that have critical applications for our fluid control systems, so around two thirds of our projects are within the life sciences sector. Functionality is critical in the life sciences sector, so it’s a perfect match,” IMI FAS creates, manufactures and delivers high technology components into the machinery required by the relevant element of the life sciences sector. The four key areas where it is active are medical devices, diagnostic instruments, analytical instruments and biotechnology. Mr Maas explained, “Our medical devices components are used in anything that will treat a symptom in or for a patient. The diagnostic instruments components are used in anything that will diagnose a symptom, such as the device a sample goes into. Our analytical instruments are used for
the analysis and quantification of a sample into its constituent parts, and our biotech solutions are primarily used in DNA applications. All of our solutions are driven by the goal of prolonging and supporting life.” With IMI Precision Engineering once again participating in the upcoming Compamed trade exhibition, Mr Maas is clear about its objectives. He said, “IMI FAS are a long-term participant at Compamed and we find that it is a great platform to meet, greet and bond with people that we have known and worked with for a long time. We have wine on our booth every evening and it’s a terrific opportunity to reinforce relationships.”
Awesome platform Mr Maas continued, “We also know that Compamed is an awesome platform for launching new products. We made two new launches at the show last year and will be launching a series of
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new solenoid valves this year too. There will also be a new syringe pump from one of our sister brands, IMI Norgren, at our booth.” With IMI FAS enjoying the commercial advantages of being a longestablished yet highly future-focused company, its coming years are expected to be as positive as its previous four decades. Mr Maas identified, “We’re always looking for the best ways to harness our experience and our incredible capabilities alongside the increasingly strict regulations across the medical and diagnostic industries. Obviously, these industries are all about controlling risk, and rightly so; as a patient we’d all expect and hope that to be the case. So for us to be involved so heavily in creating the machinery that meets the very strictest – and ever stricter – series of regulations for suppliers, we’re excited about the future. Our
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factory is gearing up to these increasing regulations and certifications so that we are always moving forward with the appropriate speed. We’ve stepped up our R&D even more to meet this too and we’re consistently launching one or two innovative new products every year.” As part of a global group that further enhances its broad reach, IMI Precision Engineering has made a conscious decision to change its focus to customer verticals, with IMI FAS essentially dedicated to the demands of the life sciences industry. Mr Maas concluded, “It’s where our skills lie, our experience and our passion. As a group, we have the broadest range of life sciences products in our industry and, by working with IMI FAS, OEM customers can radically n simplify their highly demanding processes.”
Pioneering new processengineering technologies GEA is the global leader in the development and supply of process engineering technologies for the food industry as well as for a wide range of other business sectors. The company’s ambitious expansion programme continues with new strategic acquisitions and a string of groundbreaking innovative products. Philip Yorke reports.
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Automation & Robotics
he GEA Group can trace its roots back to 1881, when it was founded in Dusseldorf, Germany as MG Technologies AG. Following a number of major setbacks owing to the destruction caused by two world wars, the group made remarkable progress to become a global leader in its chosen disciplines. In 2016 GEA generated consolidated revenues of over €4.5 billion, over 70 per cent of which came from the food industry. To give an impression of its strong position in the food industry, one quarter of all milk processes are handled by GEA equipment, one in three instant coffee lines has been built by GEA and every third chicken nugget is processed with GEA equipment. The company is listed on the German MDAX index and included in the STOXX® Europe 600 index. In addition, the group is listed in selected MSCI Global Sustainability Indexes.
Acquisition milestone Recently the GEA Group announced that it had moved to acquire the Pavan Group of Italy. The company is a leading supplier of extrusion and milling technology for processing a wide range of fresh and dried pasta, as well as pelleted snack products and breakfast cereals. With head offices in Galliera Veneta near Padua, this large corporate group employs around 700 people at its numerous modern production facilities located in Italy. In 2016 the company recorded sales of more than €155 million. The highly successful Italian group generates over 40 per cent of its revenues in Europe, followed by America with 27 per cent and Asia with 17 per cent, finally with Africa and the Middle East representing 14 per cent. This strategically important acquisition is likely to be completed in the course of 2017.
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“The acquisition is an important milestone in our stated growth strategy of expanding GEA’s activities in the area of food processing. With its unrivalled extrusion know-how the Pavan Group builds an attractive platform for us to extend our technology portfolio. In strategic terms, therefore, the company is an excellent match for us and will help to promote growth at GEA going forward,” explained Jurg Oleas, CEO of the GEA Group. “With GEA’s extensive sales and service network, we will be able to open up new markets for our solutions cross the whole world. As a truly global supplier of systems for the food processing industry, GEA will provide us with ideal growth opportunities,” added Andrea Cavagnis, CEO of Pavan SpA.
The power of innovation As a result of the company’s continuing commitment to innovation and sustainability, GEA has announced its latest addition to its extensive product portfolio. GEA recently added the PowerGrind 200 to its larger 280 model range to complete its family of robust, high capacity power grinders. These advanced grinders cut up fresh and frozen meat and supersede the earlier GEA AutoGrind range of products. The innovative GEA designed, twin screw technology remains the benchmark for grinding fresh or frozen meat without the need for
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changing the cutting set or screw. It results in fewer fines and less dust and no crushed meat. Further improvements include an autoreverse screw that prevents blockage and offers even more robust construction. Faster in-feed possibilities, hygienic and safety design improvements have earned DGUV approval and PLC control. The unique double screw configuration features a slowly rotating feeder worm that cuts frozen blocks rather than breaking them. As a result, particle definition is excellent and fat separation is kept to a minimum. This advanced technique also generates very little heat, so that quality is maintained with no squashing or smearing. Product manager for GEA grinders, William Prinssen, said, “The double screw widened the application windows for grinders. In order to take things to a higher level we have made the screws more robust and the grinder design smarter. Our latest PowerGrind range features a patent pending technology that automatically reverses and then starts the feeder screw should the machine sense that the processing screw is being fed with too much product. Subsequently the auto Reverse Drive enables the machine to keep going,” added Prinssen.
New Pharma partnership GEA and the centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH are working in partnership to facilitate the industrial implementation of new continuous manufacturing technologies. This strategic part-
Automation & Robotics
nership provides a single-source repository of process technology, design and material know-how, as well as simulation and modelling expertise, in order to optimise the integration and use of process technologies and unit operations for the production of oral solid dosage (OSD) forms. “With more than 10 years of investment, research and experience, GEA has pioneered the development of cutting-edge technologies to bring continuous processing to the pharmaceutical industry. With our unparalleled history in the processing of OSDs, from pills to pellets to MUPS (Multiple Unit Pellet Systems), and our tried and tested technologies, I am convinced that we can continue to help our customers to get their products to market faster in a cost-effective way,” n said Phil Gabb, head of Solid Dosage Sales Support, GEA. For further details of the GEA Group’s innovative process engineering products and services visit: www.gea.com Industry Europe 81
Poclain Hydraulics is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of complete hydrostatic transmissions with more than 50 years of experience. The group has subsidiaries and offices around the world and its products are used in a wide range of industry sectors. Its Czech subsidiary, based in Brno, has been offering innovative solutions for over 25 years and, in line with the group’s strategy, is looking to grow. Romana Moares reports.
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Automation & Robotics
wo years ago, Poclain Hydraulics celebrated 30 years of independent operation on the global marketplace. The company was established in the 1950s as part of the POCLAIN group, then the largest manufacturer of construction machinery in the world. In 1985 it became a separate business, rapidly developing its reputation as an independent designer and manufacturer of hydrostatic transmissions. On the anniversary of its 30 years operating as an independent company two years ago, the group decided to return to its original name and logos and revive this renowned name in industrial history – POCLAIN. The POCLAIN Group today consists of four brands: POCLAIN Hydraulics, POCLAIN Véhicules, POCLAIN Powertrain and POCLAIN Technicast Poclain Hydraulics today manufactures and distributes industrial machinery and equipment and has locations throughout the world. Its Czech subsidiary, based in the Moravian capital of Brno, established over 25 years ago, manufactures hydraulic motors and distribute also valves, pumps and electronic components, offering innovative solutions in the fields of agriculture, environment, trucks, constructions, railways and mining. Luděk Fousek, the company’s sales manager for central and eastern Europe, comments on the latest developments at the Brno plant: “In 2014, we made some 110,000 hydraulic motors and turned over CZK 2.4 billion. However, this volume was considered insufficient and a 2500m2 production expansion was launched in order to increase capacity to 150,000 hydraulic motors (and turnover to about CZK 3 billion). The production hall was completed at the end of 2014 and full production capacity was achieved in 2015, following installation of all planned technologies. The total value of the investment was about 120 million CZK. However, this has not been the final development: in the future we expect further capacity expansion here in Brno.”
Comprehensive solutions Poclain Hydraulics combines its components within its hydrostatic transmission systems. The combined expertise in hydraulics, electronics and mechanics enables the company to design, manufacture and offer high added value solutions that meet present and future market expectations. “The product portfolio of Poclain Hydraulics s.r.o. has developed dynamically, in particular in the automotive industry with additions such as the Hydraulics for CleanStart – a hydraulic start / stop system for mobile machinery,” says Luděk Fousek, adding that the company is continuing to develop solutions for on- and off-road truck and van drives. “Even in our traditional application areas, such as construction machinery, mining machinery, agricultural machinery, shipbuilding and so on, we are expanding our offer of solutions, for example with the new type of MG series hydraulic motors,” he continues, adding that in addition to developing its product portfolio, the company is working hard to increase competitiveness, productivity, production quality and production capacities. Within the Poclain Hydraulics Group, the company develops a range of new, innovative products and solutions. Examples include: the new generation of HIGH-POWER HYDRAULIC, included high-pressure control pumps for closed circuits with very compact design and working pressure up to 500 bar with PW designation; new range of MHP motors designed also for 500 bar working pressure; the new generation of medium pressure PM pumps; and a new generation of SmartDrive CT electronic controllers that meet the most demanding safety requirements. “We have also launched a new hydraulic motor for industrial applications MI250 with a geometric volume of up to 30L / rev. and other individual elements,” adds Mr Fousek. In addition to these innovations, the company has successfully transformed from a supplier of components such as pumps, motors,
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valves and others to a supplier of complete solutions, from application calculations, hydraulic circuit design and electronic control (HW and SW), up to comprehensive technology commissioning. Poclain Hydraulics also provides innovative hybrid hydraulic solutions to respond to the key challenges faced by the automotive industry, including bus and heavy commercial trucks. Already used by many renowned companies, these hydraulic solutions enhance performance, fuel savings and emissions reduction. “Last but not least, we also provide training for our clients and partners, which is an important part of our service portfolio,” explains Luděk Fousek.
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Ahead of competitors Poclain Hydraulics’s financial performance has been improving with several successive record-breaking years and the trend is expected to continue. In addition to its professional expertise, competitive advantages include excellent skills, innovation and a global outreach. “What distinguishes us most from our competitors is our people and their level of skills. In many cases, we have succeeded because our technicians and salesmen were able to offer our clients optimised solutions that were not offered by competitors,” says Mr Fousek.
Automation & Robotics
Today, about 60 per cent of the company’s turnover is generated in Europe, another 30 per cent in the US and the remaining 10 per cent in Asia. Although global sales can change due to cyclical fluctuations (e.g. within the mining industry in Europe) or geopolitical changes (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), the overall figures remain more or less the same. Poclain Hydraulics operates in a highly competitive substitution market. This means that the company competes with other technical solutions such as electric motors or high-speed hydraulic motors. “The markets are expected to continue to grow, and each new solution that we offer opens up opportunities in new areas. Therefore we remain optimistic in terms of future development,” says Luděk Fousek, confirming that the company’s vision remains clear: to sustain a technical and technological advantage over competitors and to develop the company’s human resources as the most important n factor for securing growth and future business success.
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Eton Systems is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced material handling systems. These systems are designed to eliminate manual involvement in the world’s production lines and to optimise handling efficiency. The company continues to set new standards for a broad range of manufacturing industries, from textiles to automotive products and furniture. Philip Yorke reports.
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Automation & Robotics
ton Systems was founded in Sweden in 1967 by the Eton Fashion house, a company that has specialised in making shirts since 1928. However, Eton’s need to minimise downtime and streamline its production processes subsequently resulted in one of its founders, Inge Davidson, being inspired to develop new conveying technologies and the world’s first UPS (Unit Production System). Today Eton systems are employed in more than 60 countries worldwide, increasing productivity for companies across a broad range of manufacturing industries.
Today the company’s main focus is on vehicles, plastic filters, painting, assembly and furniture. Taking furniture as an example, Eton’s conveyer systems offer a big advantage as they are able to handle both hard and soft materials in a company’s supply chain. This is especially important when it comes to the emerging economies of China, India and Brazil, where the company is clearly focused on system optimisation and the adoption of the latest high end technologies in order to achieve optimal productivity levels.
Strengthening US presence
Eton’s unique Flexible Productivity Concept (FPS) is based upon two distinct production platforms that provide a wide variety of flexible system tools that significantly improve efficiency and customer profitability. The unique systems provide highly efficient solutions, which can be perfectly tailored to suit each individual customer’s needs. This involves removing the need for the handling of pallets, pallet racks, forklifts and all heavy manual lifting operations. By reducing handling processes and the equipment involved, Eton can increase manufacturing production levels by between 60 and 100 per cent. Furthermore, through its latest patented systems the company can buffer both large and small items without any parts coming into contact with each other or getting soiled, thus allowing the handling of products with sensitive surfaces that are produced in both clean rooms and other challenging environments. Virtually all Eton system components are manufactured in Europe in order to meet the high engineering standards it demands and to deliver the best possible quality and operational reliability for its customers.
This year Eton will expand its presence significantly in the US with its automotive, textile, apparel, furniture and plastics industry system applications. High labour costs and a growing demand for stringent quality controls and faster delivery to markets means that Eton’s state-of-the-art technology has gained a lot of ground in the major growth markets of the world. Over recent years, Eton Systems has achieved high levels of sales in a variety of industry sectors, especially in the textile market, which is why the company believes that it is now time to leverage its success by making a greater investment in the US market. Until recently, Eton Systems has relied upon its network of independent sales agents for its business in the North American market. However since the first quarter of this year, all sales related activities in the US are being handled directly through its headquarters in that market, in order to increase its presence and to ensure even better customer service. The investment plan is both ambitious and comprehensive and is timed to coincide with the launch of the next generation of Eton technology, which is just around the corner. Therefore Eton is currently looking to recruit the best people for the job, including a new sales team, aftersales support staff, as well as new educational and training staff.
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Alex Vega is responsible for realising the new venture and has broad international experience of initiating and successfully managing new branches for global enterprises. Most recently this was as MD and International Sales Director for Eastern-Bell Sports Europe. “Of course we see many advantages of being closer to our customers and having a direct overview of operations,” said Vega. “It allows us to be more flexible and to optimise delivery precision, thus providing a whole new service level to our current and new customers,” he added.
Mascot for success Mascot is a leading Danish apparel company and one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of workwear. This ambitious company continues to expand its global footprint with a clear goal to increase the number of production facilities under its own management. Mascot Vietnam has over 1000 employees and currently is producing over 6000 items of workwear every day. This represents around 30 per cent of Mascot’s total production output. In order to meet growing global demand, Mascot has recently inserted a new mezzanine floor at its present sewing facility in Vietnam which will support a further 300 employees. To ensure the highest, most efficient production lines, the company installed the latest Eton Systems, which offer fully automatic conveyancing systems and transports products from one seamstress to the next. The company’s Danish production manager, Morgan Dietrich has no doubt that this represents a most valuable acquisition. “Eton is an excellent management tool, which can measure the efficiency of the individual sub-operation in the sewing line. It means that you can react quickly if any sub operators are not functioning optimally. You can even follow each order through the production line in Vietnam, simply sitting at your desk in Denmark,” he said. For further details of Eton’s unique high-performance systems and services visit www.etonsystems.com 88 Industry Europe
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Leading the Way Ammann Czech Republic, a.s. is a subsidiary of the Swiss family-owned Ammann Group, an established supplier of construction machinery with a solid tradition and sales and production facilities around the world. By continuing to offer new products, the Ammann Group is further strengthening its position as a global provider of highly productive, ecological, safe and reliable machinery and plants for road construction. Romana Moares reports.
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mmann Czech Republic is a member of a strong group – a world-leading supplier of mixing plants, machines and services to the construction industry with core expertise in road building and transportation infrastructure. The family-owned company has enjoyed international success since 1869. Hans-Christian Schneider, current Ammann CEO, is the sixth generation to run the business. The company is headquartered in Langenthal, Switzerland, where the group’s research and development facility is also located. Today the group employs over 3000 people in 80 countries worldwide and works closely with universities and technical schools to accommodate the latest market trends and to present the customer with products offering a high added value.
Czech quality Ammann Czech Republic a.s. is a successor to the traditional Czech manufacturer of construction equipment, Stavostroj. Its story began at the turn of the 20th century, when the first metalworking workshops were created in Nové Město nad Metují. In 1952, production expanded to include heavy metallurgy. In 2005, Ammann acquired the company and changed its name to Ammann Czech Republic a.s. As a result of rapidly growing demand for machinery and increasing market share, the decision was made to increase the Czech factory’s production capacity, followed by massive investment in expansion in 2006. The current portfolio of the Czech factory includes single-drum rollers, tandem rollers, pneumatic-tyred rollers and trench rollers. These are used for compaction of materials in construction and road repair work. Great emphasis is put on performance, safety and operator comfort.
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In line with current legislation, today’s priority is to provide innovative compacting solutions to reduce emissions, by optimising the overall process. Through the innovative collaboration of experts from all areas of compaction, Ammann can now offer a complete line of state-of-the-art compaction machines to guarantee maximum benefit for the customer.
New additions The latest addition to the innovative portfolio of machines is the ART 35 T4i, a light, pivot-steered pneumatic tyred roller. With an operating weight of 3200kg, the ART 35 T4i is the lightest pneumatic roller in the Ammann lineup. Its design is compact, with a length of 3260mm and a width of 1540mm. The design provides stability, manoeuvrability and ground access to service points and fully meets both the technical and operator comfort requirements. An oil-cooled Deutz engine meets interim emissions standards while providing the necessary power. It features intuitive control and handling, helping even unskilled operators to be more productive. Control switches are installed on the dashboard in front of the operator, making them easy to see and reach. This year, Ammann also announced the release of four light tandem rollers that are compliant with Tier 4 Final emissions standards while maintaining the key features of their predecessors. The tandem rollers are the smallest in the Ammann lineup, weighing about 1.5 tonnes. The rollers combine exceptional compaction output with the ability to work closely against kerbs and other obstructions. They utilise side-free drums, which enhance visibility and enable operators to see edges while working against sides. Their small size and tight
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
turning radius also enable maneuverability. These and other features eliminate the need for supplementary compaction efforts when working against edges, making the machines popular with contractors. Last but not least, the company has also introduced the first two models of the new ARS line of single-drum soil compactors, which combine tried-and-tested features with the latest intelligent compaction technology. With this addition to its extensive product line, Ammann consolidates its industry leading position in compaction output while offering improved efficiencies and cost savings as well. “The goal, as always, is to provide the highest added value to the customer with quicker compaction in fewer passes,” said Vlastimil Medek, Ammann’s commercial manager. “These new machines do exactly that.”
At the forefront Ammann’s key competitive advantage is high performance at an affordable price, combined with an excellent level of service. The company’s compaction machines are easily maneuverable even in difficult to reach terrain, and are also very stable. They are traditionally easy to operate and their modern design makes them aesthetically appealing. Customers include major construction companies from all continents – from Australia through to Canada, South America, Africa, Asia and, of course, the whole of Europe. Its participating in fairs around the world is in line with Ammann’s commitment to maintaining a global presence. Its dealers and distributors also participate in the fairs, helping customers and prospects to make local connections. This year, in addition to the SAMOTER show in Verona, Ammann had a successful CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 in Las Vegas in March, with hundreds of customers and prospects visiting the booth and showing interest in the ABA UniBatch asphalt-mixing plant. The company also presented its heavy machines, including single drum, tandem and pneumatic rollers, known for their intuitive control, exceptional visibility, operator comfort, high compaction output and easy access to service points. For Ammann, the optimal overall solution for the flexible and economical operation is always at the forefront – and the group’s global network n guarantees reliable customer support around the world. Industry Europe 91
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Valued system supplier IDEAL Automotive is an international system supplier and development partner for the automotive industry. Headquartered in Germany, the group operates several production facilities in the Czech Republic, and capacity is constantly being increased. Romana Moares reports.
DEAL Automotive GmbH, which operates as a subsidiary of IDEAL Group Deutschland GmbH, manufactures textile lining components for the interior and exterior applications for the automotive industry, such as floor coverings, car mats, coating parts made of plastic, side linings, loading floors, spare wheel recess coverings, tailgate linings, seat backrest linings, linings loading sills, and wheel arch liners. The company also provides needle fleeces, tufting products and coatings, including nonwoven fabrics, tufts, coatings/equipment,
and carrier nonwovens. In addition, IDEAL Automotive offers concept design and construction, research and development, prototype manufacturing, production, component and material testing, and logistics services. The company serves Tier 1 automobile manufacturers and its customer base includes most of the famous names: Mercedes-Benz, SEAT, Opel, Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, Volvo and many others. IDEAL Automotive GmbH, based in Bamberg, was founded in 1964 Industry Europe 93
and was formerly known as Schaeffler Teppichboden GmbH. It changed its name to IDEAL Automotive GmbH in 2000. Today, the company employs over 4000 people at 17 locations worldwide. In 2016, IDEAL Automotive GmbH generated sales of €390 million.
Production base in the Czech Republic In the Czech Republic, there are five factories producing automotive components under the IDEAL Automotive name. The facility in Bor, where the company’s headquarters are located, was commissioned in 2000. When capacity reached its maximum six years later, some
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production moved to a new hall in Strakonice, and several years later it moved into yet another new hall in Ostrov, where capacity was increased and transferred into another hall in 2014 – so far the latest addition in the Czech Republic. Here, on an area of 16,000 square metres, components for car boots are manufactured, and capacity is slowly reaching its limits again. With innovative processes and technologies, the company develops new intelligent system solutions for the automotive industry while always considering individual customers’ requirements: the optics, functionality and longevity of the products are just as impor-
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tant as cost-efficient production. The low weight of the components, their noise-reducing effect and the good recycling possibilities are just some of the advantages that IDEAL Automotive’s textile lining elements in the vehicle interior and exterior provide. Demand for IDEAL Automotive components is high. They can be found in cars of premium brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and also Škoda, although only five per cent of total output of the Czech plants ends up with the largest local carmaker. The rest is exported, primarily to western Europe. All production facilities are equipped with new, state-of-the-art technology. In addition to machines and equipment, investment is directed towards staff training and development. Retaining skilled and capable people is key in a market that is notorious for its lack of good, technical resources.
Proven route to success Collaboration between suppliers and customers is based on mutual trust. IDEAL Automotive is a modern company that is successful not only through innovation and quality but also through continuity and reliable partnerships. IDEAL is constantly on the lookout for suppliers that are able to develop new products with, or for, the company. To meet the quality and environmental requirements of its customers and to ensure environmentally friendly production, all IDEAL sites are certified according to ISO / TS 16949 / VDA 6.1 and the processing plants according to DIN EN ISO 14001. The company strives to continually improve working conditions and environmental impacts. Uniform standards for quality, work safety and environmental protection apply to all plants. IDEAL Automotive is set to further increase production capacity. In 2016 a new location was opened in Slovakia, and in 2017 another factory was commissioned in Poland. This just goes to show that quality, reliability and commitment to ensuring maximum customer satisfaction is a proven route to success. As the company’s philosophy states: “We want to not only satisfy our customers but also inspire them in the long term. The fact that we have been able to produce for renowned manufacturers in the automotive sector for years now is our promise of quality. The thorough understanding of materials, technology and the market go n hand in hand with IDEAL Automotive GmbH projects.”
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Memories on the move Much-loved motorhome brand Niesmann + Bischoff is justifiably proud of its high quality and finishing that is unrivalled in the luxury motorhome market. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to export manager Cécile Rouesné to learn more.
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uxury motorhome specialist Niesmann + Bischoff has been steadily growing, developing and expanding since it was first established in Germany in 1955. With brothers Elfriede and Hugo Niesmann initially focused on their successful travel agency, they gradually added high-end caravans to their offer, launching their first motorhome in 1981. This was the Clou, which has continued to be a much-loved part of the ever-growing Niesmann + Bischoff portfolio. The tagline ‘What would you like to experience today?’ is a smart summary of the Niesmann + Bischoff approach – an adventurous spirit that is clearly evident in everything it creates. Export manager
Cécile Rouesné told Industry Europe, “Niesmann + Bischoff is specialised in the luxury motorhome market. What makes our products unique is their innovative automotive design and first-class workmanship. We combine the finest craftsmanship with real flair, which together enable us to create the most comfortable motorhomes on the road.”
The heart of adventures A subsidiary of the Erwin Hymer Group since 1996, Niesmann + Bischoff is located in Polch, Germany, which is just one hour from Frankfurt. Ms Rouesné said, “We have one plant which is the very
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heart of our business. Both our headquarters and our production are based here and we have around 250 employees. In the last four years we have actually increased our production capacity by 50 per cent, but our intention is not to grow too quickly to ensure that we maintain our famous high quality and finishing.” The focus of Niesmann + Bischoff has long been to keep creating ‘surprisingly clever features for lovers of luxury motorhomes’, and this aim is clearly evident in its new launches and upgrades. Ms Rouesné explained, “Our recent highlights include the development of a new safety concept on the IVECO 7 t. chassis and also our unique low profile model called ‘SMOVE’, which is a combination of the words ‘smart’ and ‘move’. We developed the SMOVE over three years and we are proud to say it is uncompromisingly sporty. It has all the features of a big motorhome but with the sporty dynamics of a car, making it compact enough for city trips and ideal for couples that love an adventure.”
Ready to SMOVE The SMOVE certainly reflects Niesmann + Bischoff’s ongoing goal to ensure its customers feel fully at home on the road and can travel in maximum comfort. Ms Rouesné added, “We have a constant flow of new ideas that are dedicated to promoting and preserving the best possible travelling experience for our customers. Our target customers are from a very broad age range, from 45 to 70, but they all certainly have one thing in common; they appreciate comfort, high quality and design. Our customers are active and often retired people, but can also be people that use their motorhome as a professional base, including high level sportsmen, racing drivers and pop stars...this variety highlights the incredible capability and potential of a Niesmann + Bischoff motorhome, with the attractive lines and carefully thought-out features all combining to offer the best of life on the road.” Well known across the luxury motorhome community, Niesmann + Bischoff’s most important markets are its domestic German market, followed by France, United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Benelux. Ms Rouesné explained how France’s appreciation of design makes it a good fit and that Scandinavia’s cold winters make it ideally suited to Niesmann + Bischoff’s vehicles thanks to their ‘winter resistant construction’. She added, “We like to say that Niesmann + Bischoff is with you wherever your journey takes you. Having been so carefully crafted to suit the very exacting needs of our customers, we know that our luxury motorhomes are the ideal travelling companion. The driving is great and the comfort is second-to-none, whether you’re sleeping after a long day’s adventures or stopping for a break to take in your beautiful surroundings.”
Adding extra As Niesmann + Bischoff continues to develop and enhance its highly-respected offer of luxury motorhomes, working alongside its new supplier Estepe (www.estepe.nl) it is also pleased to announce that it has integrated airbags, pedal release systems and seatbelt tensioners in its Flair models and is also the sole manufacturer in the industry to be able to offer the airbag in the IVECO 7 t. chassis. Ms Rouesné concluded, “It’s wonderful to play such an important part in our customers’ happy life adventures. Niesmann + Bischoff is with them every mile of their journey, making them more comfortable and helping to create memories.”
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Sealed for success Federal-Mogul Hungary plays an important role in the global operations of the American Federal-Mogul Corporation. Its factory in Kunsziget supplies prominent car manufacturers and auto component producers in central and eastern Europe, manufacturing award-winning products. Edina Beale reports.
ounded in 1899 in Detroit, Federal-Mogul Corporation today supplies the world’s biggest car manufacturers and operates in 36 countries. The company operates two business divisions: Federal-Mogul Powertrain focuses on original equipment powertrain products for automotive, heavy-duty and industrial applications; Federal-Mogul Motorparts sells and distributes a broad portfolio of products in the global vehicle aftermarket, while also serving original equipment (OE/OES) manufacturers with vehicle products including brake friction, chassis, wipers and other components.
Kunsziget factory Federal-Mogul’s global vehicle aftermarket division has had an official sales department in Hungary since 2008 and has owned the Kunsziget factory, Federal-Mogul Hungary Kft, since 1999. The factory in Kunsziget was set up in 1996 by the German company Glöckler, which had its main manufacturing in Bretten, Germany and transferred some of its production to Hungary. When Federal-Mogul acquired Glöckler in 1999, it acquired the Hungarian operation too. In 2001 Federal-Mogul closed one of its locations in Cardiff, South Wales and transferred that facility’s production of dynamic seals and valve stem seals to Kunsziget. In 2003 a new purpose-built facility was constructed on the site and all of the manual labour production work at the Bretten facility was moved across. In 2004 the new facility enabled the transfer of wiper blade assembly 100 Industry Europe
work from other locations in Europe across to Hungary, so that FederalMogul could once again benefit from the location of the site and the low-cost labour. Essentially Federal-Mogul Hungary produces four main products – static cold gaskets, dynamic seals, vale stem seals and wiper blades. The company’s main brands, which include Champion, Moog, Ferodo, Beral, Payen, Goetze, Nural, AE, Glyco and FP-diesel, are well known names across Europe; it supplies autoparts to 98.5 per cent of European vehicles. Products manufactured at Kunsziget are delivered direct to the customer on a just-in-time basis, whether engine builders or automotive assembly plants. The nearest customer is Audi’s engine plant 20km away in Győr, but the company supplies many other prominent automotive companies including BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, as well as autopart manufacturers including Continental and Bosch.
New parts distribution facility Recently Federal-Mogul’s aftermarket division, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, has signed a contract with Kuehne + Nagel who will run a newly built automotive service parts distribution facility near Budapest, Hungary. The parts distribution facility (PDC), which is located in Páty, will supply service outlets in southern, eastern and central Europe in conjunction with Federal-Mogul’s distribution centre in Willebroek, Belgium. The Páty facility will also serve markets in Africa and those in adjacent
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Since 1976 with more than 40 years of experience PMG is a global leading company in the field of specialty rubber compounds. The production at PMG Italy is in three mixing plants to produce black conventional compounds, coloured compounds and the mixing unit dedicated to FKM compounds with two lines for black and coloured compounds. PMG production is based on all specialty elastomers and the core business is represented by the production of FKM compounds, for which PMG is a global leader for product portfolio and volume produced. PMG East Srl. started operations in January 2006 at Timisoara (Romania) with a mixing unit for conventional black compound. The site is equipped with a state of the art mixing line to serve our Customers in Central and Eastern Europe. PMG Rubber Technology (Changshu) CO Ltd. In December 2016, PMG Rubber Technology Ltd has started operations in Changshu (China). The plant is located in Fervent Industrial Park, north of Shanghai on an area of 7500sqm. The unit is equipped with two lines for black and coloured FKM and a line for black compounds in operation by the end of 2017. A local team of experienced technicians and sales professionals, laboratory facility and modern equipment together with PMG know-how represent a unique opportunity to be close to our customers in the Asia Pacific markets.
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EU countries according to a statement from Kuehne + Nagel. The facility has 23,000m2 of storage space and will stock the full range of FederalMogul brands. Andrew Sexton, president of EMEA Aftermarket and regional president, EMEA, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, said the facility would help the company achieve the best lead times.
Award winning product made in Hungary Product development has always been a key factor behind Federal-Mogul’s global success. At the early stages of a new project, Federal-Mogul’s product and application engineers work alongside the customer’s technical team from concept through to prototype; the local sites are getting involved at the prototype stage, taking this through to series production. In 2015 Federal-Mogul Powertrain won two Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence) awards in Detroit. This prestigious award recognises automotive suppliers for superior innovation, technological advancement and business performance. The company earned PACE awards for its MicroTorq and DuroGlide Low Friction Ring Pack technologies. MicroTorq is an innovative elastomeric shaft seal that addresses the automotive industry’s need for reduced parasitic power losses. Micro-
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Torq reduces frictional losses by up to 80 per cent versus comparable designs, and CO2 reduction of up to 1.5 g/km per engine. The new design concept relies on a dual-hinge flex section to maintain uniform contact with the rotating shaft without creating high loads and without jeopardising the durability or reliability of an engine, and is capable of performing under all engine application conditions. The award winning MicroTorq is manufactured by Federal-Mogul Hungary in Kunsziget. “This award is a serious international recognition of the Hungarian production site and proves that Hungarian professionals are able to contribute with high standards to the success of a world leading automotive suppliers,” said Peter Macsotai, the manager of the shaft seal factory in Kunsziget, Hungary. “When manufacturing the MicroTorq shaft seal product it is especially important to meet the requirements of the injection moulding technology and to check the surface of the product by 3D scanning, at which staff at the Kunsziget factory are highly skilled.” Since the introduction of MicroTorq seal in 2010, this product has been used by more than 15 motor platforms, including General Motors, who used the product for their new Ecotec motor generation. The high demand for this product is expected to grow and Federal-Mogul plans n to increase annual production of MicroTorq to 10 million.
Automotive & Heavy Vehicles
Bright prospects Tecnomeccanica SpA is an Italian manufacturer of high-precision aluminium die-cast components of different shapes and dimensions for the automotive industry. Its acquisition in 2016 by Idea Capital Funds SpA has ushered in a new era for the company, as Industry Europe discovers.
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ecnomeccanica was established in 1945 in Novara, between Milan and Turin, and began by designing and constructing moulds and aluminium die-cast components. There were several major developments over the years, with the most significant of these taking place in 1999 when the company, which had already started producing reflectors, began metallising them. In 2003 it moved to a larger site in Novara, and in 2007 it began producing LED lamps and aluminium heat sinks. The introduction of metallisation was particularly significant because it has allowed Tecnomeccanica to distinguish itself as an integrated process supplier, from die-casting to metallisation, which is quite rare at European level. However, the company also continues to supply non-metallised reflectors to clients who prefer to carry out the metallisation process in-house. Nowadays Tecnomeccanica provides an entire service, starting with customer’s input, followed by mould design and
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construction, aluminium die-casting, blanking, tumbling, powder coating, metallisation and quality control, and then completed with shipping. Sophisticated 3D design and test tools, including optical scanning and contact machines, are employed during this process. October 2016 saw one of the most significant events in Tecnomeccanica’s history when it was taken over by Idea Capital Funds SpA in a buy-out operation supported by Simone Ferrucii, a long-time automotive manager who has co-invested in the company and will take the lead.
Lighting the way The company also produces high power halogen headlights. A company spokesperson explains: “Our reflectors are targeted at high range cars, because generally in terms of halogen headlights aluminium reflectors have been replaced with plastic reflectors. However, aluminium is still used for xenon headlights owing to the fact that they generate a lot of heat.” An innovation drive in 2007 saw the introduction of aluminium heat sinks for LED daytime headlights on high range cars, which also require high heat resistance. “Further benefits offered by aluminium components for both reflectors and heat sinks include very thin die-cast side depths, and the ability the afford us to keep both cost and weight at low levels – essential for today’s automotive sector.” In the course of its activity Tecnomeccanica also constructs some of its own moulds, while the remaining models purchased externally are
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always thoroughly tested internally. The outlet for Tecnomeccanica’s products is the automotive industry, mainly in terms of pure automotive products such as cars (90 per cent of turnover), lorries and motorbikes (5 per cent), agricultural (tractors) and earth moving vehicles (5 per cent). Some key customers include Automotive Lighting, Magneti Marelli, Hella, ZKW and Magna.
Tecnomeccanica holds the ISO TS 16949, ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certificates and was also one of the first companies in Italy to achieve automotive-specific certifications. Its aim for the future is to become an n essential partner for the major automotive manufacturers.
Various types of illumination Tecnomeccanica’s new products will concentrate on the growing field of heat sinks and, while up to now metallisation has been exclusive to reflectors, the company has developed metallised heat sinks for which it has reached the prototype phase. Alongside this development, it has been working on the development of applications for its reflectors in the civil lighting sector, for the illumination of facilities such as roads, parks and sport sites. Tecnomeccanica’s interest in developing applications for this latter area is linked to the increasing trend for LED lamp road lighting, due to the considerable environmental and energy saving benefits it can offer. At present the company’s main export market is Germany, followed by the NAFTA area, then Italy and, with a small share, Asia. However, geographical sales areas and rankings could change as Tecnomeccanica follows trends in the production of high-range automobiles so any relocation/delocalisation here could mean a shift in the company’s geographical sales balance.
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Engineered to Innovate
Lubrizol is one of the world’s leading producers of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), known for its Estane®, PearlthaneTM and PearlbondTM TPU brands. Romana Moares spoke to Jesus Santamaria, EMEAI business director for Lubrizol Engineered Polymers, about the company’s innovation and expansion into new markets. 108 Industry Europe
chemicals, petrochemicals and offshore
lthough most people have no idea what thermoplastic elastomers or thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) are, these materials are used in so many applications that an average person comes in contact with them several times a day. TPUs are highly versatile elastomers with unique properties that provide both superior performance and processing flexibility as compared to other materials. TPU is ideal for applications in a wide variety of markets, including footwear, adhesives and speciality moulding, and has been providing benefits to designers, manufacturers and end users for over 50 years. Lubrizol is the company behind this unique material. TPU was invented by BF Goodrich, which later became Noveon and was then acquired by Lubrizol in 2004. “Originally, TPU was developed to find a suitable alternative to rubber in tires. Since then, the company has continued to innovate and tailor the material to meet the needs of a growing range of applications across many industries,” says Jesus Santamaria. The Lubrizol Corporation, headquartered in Wickliffe, Ohio, USA employs more than 8000 people and serves customers in over 100 countries. The company has two business units. Lubrizol Additives,
the legacy of the Lubrizol business, was founded in 1928 and continues as a pioneering global supplier of additive technologies for engine oils, driveline, fuels and industrial lubricants. Lubrizol Advanced Materials (of which Lubrizol Engineered Polymers is a part) is a leading global producer of speciality polymers and additives used in everyday consumer and industrial applications.
Dedicated market coverage The thermoplastic elastomer products made by Lubrizol Engineered Polymers are used in agriculture, building and construction, consumer goods, surface protection, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP), defence, geophysical, industrial, sports and recreation, transportation, and elecrical and electronics applications. The unique properties of these materials make them particularly well-suited for end uses such as conveyor belts, automotive body mouldings, livestock tags, roof under layers, laminates for safety glass, body armour, collapsible tanks, durable hoses, seals and gaskets, performance apparel, and speciality tubing. The company has many registered Industry Europe 109
trademarks including Estane® TPU, PearlthaneTM and PearlthaneTM ECO* TPU, PearlbondTM and PearlstickTM TPU, Isoplast® TPU and Stat-RiteTM TPU, among others. “The technical scope and market coverage of Lubrizol’s business is very wide,” confirms Mr Santamaria. “To highlight how diverse our reach is, I can say that we are innovating in sectors as different as medical devices and electrification, to wearables and 3D printing, to name a few. In Engineered Polymers, we tailor our materials to the needs, for example, of leading footwear and apparel brands to help them deliver differentiated products prioritising lightness, comfort and breathability. From the diversity of our people and markets to the diversity of our technologies, we can deliver a wide range of market insights and material science expertise, dedicated to helping our customers meet their innovation and growth goals.” He adds that Lubrizol Engineered Polymers is now introducing new light stable TPUs that can effectively protect multiple surfaces, which today rely on non-recyclable, process-heavy coatings. “The new products can reduce manufacturing costs and improve productivity. On top of that, they can enable the component to be recycled, limiting demands on landfill and improving our customers’ environmental footprint.” The company also offers Bio TPUTM by Lubrizol*, made with renewable-sourced materials, yet fully capable of delivering the performance and benefits expected of petroleum-based TPU.
Meeting current and emerging trends “More and more producers put greater emphasis on recyclability, which is one material characteristic that can reduce the amount of waste for landfill,” says Mr Santamaria. “All our TPUs are recyclable**. Markets are seeking alternatives to current thermoset applications like foam, rubber and other materials used in, for example, cables and hoses. TPU is that alternative.” TPU may be the answer to another driver: automation. The concept of Industry 4.0 that started in Germany a few years ago and has been spreading across the world will create a bigger demand for robots and 110 Industry Europe
thus for more wire and cable. TPU is unbeatable in this respect, due to its tensile properties, durability and resistance to flex fatigue. “Conveyor belts are another growing market. With large logistics centres being built all over the world in response to online purchasing, more conveying systems are needed to move packages and materials fast and reliably. Beyond this, demand for soft flexible polymers is rising in other sectors. TPU has the right properties – and the ability to be customised – to satisfy these demands,” he claims. “There is an evolution happening today in flexible materials with new functionalities. A good example is the shoe industry – today sports shoes are very different from what was available just a few years ago. TPU is the key component allowing this leap from the classical heavy design to the current, very light, high performing designs that today’s consumers enjoy so much.”
Steady global expansion Lubrizol is present at major polymer fairs and exhibitions worldwide, such as Fakuma in Germany, Plastimagen in Mexico, Chinaplas in Asia and NPE in the US, as well as exhibitions focused on particular sectors. “Our markets and our manufacturing footprint are global,” says Mr Santamaria. He confirms that the company is well prepared for growth. “We are in a very positive business cycle because of the market trends I mentioned, which really favour TPU, as they seem best suited to meet the current needs. Our strategy is based on meeting this positive trend, which supports organic growth. We are investing for growth in every region of the world, and targeting areas where TPUs are not used today but which seek alternatives with the properties we can deliver. The potential is vast and Lubrizol is well positioned to make the most of these opportunities,” concludes Mr Santamaria. *Bio-based content as certified in accordance with ASTM D-6866. **Recyclability is based on access to a readily available standard recycling program that supports such materials. Products may not be available in all areas.
Polwax, headquartered in Jaslo, is Poland’s leader in paraffin and paraffin wax production and one of the industry’s major players in Europe. Recently, the company has invested in the world’s most modern slack wax solvent de-oiling plant, as Dariusz Balcerzyk discovers.
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his year Polwax celebrates its 5th anniversary; however, the company’s history of paraffin production goes back much further, as it has been active in the industry for 15 years. Polwax was established following the separation of Lotos Parafiny from the Capital Group Lotos SA, which is well-known for its crude oil production, refining and marketing of oil products. The group is Poland’s leader in lubricants. Lotos Parafiny itself was founded in 2004 as a result of the merger of two companies: RCParafiny from Czechowice and Parafiny from Jaslo. It became Poland’s leading producer and distributor of refined and deodorised paraffin, as well as a significant producer of candles and grave lights. Lotos SA sold its shares in the company in January 2012 and the Krokus Private Equity Fund acquired 64 per cent of Lotos Parafiny while the rest were taken over by the company’s managers and by passive investors; thus, Polwax was created. In 2014, the company made its debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. In March 2015, it purchased two laboratories: in Czechowice-Dziedzice and Jaslo. In October 2016, Krokus sold all its shares in Polwax, which resulted in a large dispersion of the shareholders. At the beginning of 2017, the company was awarded the prestigious title of ‘The one who transforms the Polish industry’, awarded by the Nowy Przemysl bimonthly business magazine.
Experts in paraffins Polwax is one of the world’s leading producers and distributors of refined and deodorised paraffin, waxes and speciality industrial paraffins. Its wide range includes products designed for the candle-making industry, products for special applications, products designed to meet food standards, anti-caking agents for fertilis114 Industry Europe
ers, pattern waxes, speciality products used in the manufacture of candles, products designed for the manufacture of grave-lights, anticorrosion agents, wood impregnation products and hot-melt adhesives. The company owns an analytical laboratory, which carries out research in the field of oil products, water, wastewater and the working environment. In total, its annual output amounts to about 60–65 thousand tonnes of products and it employs 280 people. “Thanks to our high-tech processes, high and stable quality of products, flexibility and cooperation with numerous research institutes, our products are appreciated by consumers and are used in various industries such as: fertilisers, investment casting, wood processing, production of varnishes and paints, rubber, paper and packaging, production of construction materials, manufacture of explosives, manufacture of candles and grave lights, and food,” says Dominik Tomczyk, Polwax CEO and president of the management board. The company’s total sales in 2016 amounted to PLN 294.6 million (more than €70 million). Around 75 to 80 per cent of Polwax’s products are sold on the domestic market, with the remainder sold mainly in the European Union (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Hungary and UK) and in eastern Europe.
Solvent de-oiling technology The most important investment the company made this year was in the construction of a new slack wax solvent de-oiling plant (the socalled ‘FUTURE project’). Its total costs are estimated at PLN 160 million (more than €38 million). The installation is being built using ThyssenKrupp UHDE technology, and the German company will also supply eight key devices that have a fundamental impact on the quality of the products installed.
thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions is proud to serve Polwax S.A. for its new 2-stage slack-wax deoiling plant in Poland After having performed the basic engineering package and providing the license for the hard-paraffin production facility in CzechowiceDziedzice, Poland, engineering and construction specialist thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has been awarded the second contract for the supply and delivery of key equipment to this project. The Client PolWAX S.A. is one of the largest European producers and distributers of refined and deodorized paraffin, waxes and specialty industrial paraffin compositions. The new plant with an annual capacity of 30,000 metric tons of three individual slack-wax grades will be integrated into the existing production site of PolWAX. The production of hard-paraffin with individual specifications and properties - such as oil-content, melting-point and hardness - from different sources of oil-containing slack-waxes, requires specialist expertise and specific design features, particularly with respect to the design of the crystallization-filtration section and the solvent recovery, which are crucial for proper plant operation and requested hard-paraffin quality. Based on its own process technology for lube oils and wax production, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has built several solvent based dewaxing/deoiling plants, both for lube oil refineries as well as for wax producers in Germany and Eastern Europe. In addition own thyssenkrupp laboratory facilities are available for pilot testing of individual feedstocks to allow tailored processes to individual needs.
About thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions: The Industrial Solutions business area at thyssenkrupp is a leading partner for the engineering, construction and service of industrial plants and systems. Based on more than 200 years of experience we supply tailored, turnkey plants and components for customers in the chemical, fertilizer, cement, mining and steel industries. As a system partner to the automotive, aerospace and naval sectors we develop highly specialized solutions to meet the individual requirements of our customers. More than 21,000 employees at around 100 locations form a global network with a technology portfolio that guarantees maximum productivity and cost-efficiency.
“We use the term ‘FUTURE’ to design this project, as we believe that the construction and launch of this installation is the absolute future for our company in the paraffin market,” says Mr Tomczyk. The plant’s annual capacity is estimated at 30,000 tonnes and this new investment will enable the de-oiling of light, medium and heavy slack wax, thus expanding the company’s range of products offered to include new products addressed to serve a wider group of industrial customers. “Our sales strategy envisages a much larger share of exports than is currently the case today, not only in Europe but also in Asia and America. Polwax will become one of the most modern paraffin manufacturers in Europe or even beyond Europe,” says Mr Tomczyk. FUTURE is not the only project that is currently being implemented by Polwax. Within the publicly-funded Innolot programme, Polwax has developed a method of obtaining high quality hard moulds for precision casting, resulting in two patent applications. As a part of the
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chemicals, petrochemicals and offshore
Biostrateg programme, it is creating a consortium for new packaging products using renewable materials and innovative paraffin impregnating agents (EKOPOLPAK).
All for customers “Building strong relationships with our customers is at the forefront of our strategy. We are listening to what our partners say, then trying to solve their problems, if we can. Thus, products designed specifically for the customer or for the industry are created. On the other hand, we analyse the market and its trends, then take analytical research, create our knowhow, take our solutions to our customers and convince them to use our technology. Both processes are focused on customer relationships. Some of our clients are bigger, others are smaller, but we take them all very seriously, offering them all the same level of technological support n and high quality products,” says Mr Tomczyk. www.polwax.pl
SEPIOLSA - THE SEPIGEL® BLEACHING EARTHS SEPIOL S.A. is the clay specialist of the group MINERSA producing and commercializing the Sepigel® bleaching earths. The Sepigel® clays have been proven to efficiently remove undesired particles from oils during their purification process. The particular characteristics of the raw material and optimum particle size distribution give rise to fast filtration, excellent decolourisation levels, efficient absorption and free flowability. Sepigel® Industrial, the best solution for the purification of lube oils, paraffins and waxes, specially designed to meet the most exigent demands of the market.
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Expanding international profile The ALUTECH Group is a leading producer of aluminium profiles, sectional doors and roller shutter systems for the Eastern European market and beyond. Its systems have been installed at millions of sites throughout the world, including the CIS countries, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Industry Europe talks to General Director Alexey Zhukov to find out about its latest product launches, continuing investment plans and strategies for further international growth.
ounded in 1996 and headquartered in Belarus, the ALUTECH Group includes five manufacturing companies (three in Belarus, two in Russia and one in Ukraine), over 20 sales offices and a manufacturing/logistics office in the Czech Republic (Alutech Systems s.r.o). The latter Mr Zhukov refers to as a “so-called ‘linking bridge’ between Western markets and ALUTECH. Continuous replenishment of the inventory provides the shortest lead times from the Czech Republic to all EU countries.” The ALUTECH Group’s profiles, sectional doors and roller shutter systems are supplied mainly to the metalworking and construction sectors. For example, one of its arms, AluminTechno JLLC, casts aluminium ingots which are then extruded for use on building interiors
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General Director Alexey Zhukov
and exteriors. Two other platforms, Alutech Incorporated and Alutech Sectional Doors, manufacture a full range of profiles and components for roller shutter systems, sectional garage doors and finished products, as well as handling equipment and automatic control systems.
Continuous product development When it comes to production, the ALUTECH Holding’s priority remains aluminium constructions and components for the protection and development of private and industrial facilities. As has been touched upon above, this includes roller shutter systems, sectional doors and accessories and aluminium profile systems (such as facades, windows, doors and partitions).
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However, the group is also aware of the need to continuously innovate and introduce new products and solutions in order to keep its offer fresh and competitive. Two years ago it launched its own line of reloading equipment, including dock shelters, docking levelers, loading bays and cross-dockings. Mr Zhukov tells us: “First of all, we aimed to extend the existing assortment of industrial sectional gates with auxiliary equipment for more efficient and smoother operation of the industrial warehouse and logistics centre, while developing this product line at the same time. “This autumn, we are launching our own line of functional automation systems for sectional doors. Previously, we offered automation systems from other European manufacturers as well as our in-house developed products under the brand name ‘AN-Motors’. Over time, we analysed distinctive features, advantages and disadvantages of the solutions we implemented, tested many of them under actual operating conditions and consequently developed the concept of our own line. The new ALUTECH automation systems reflect our view on functionality, reliability and user-friendliness.” What makes the company stand out, according to Mr Zhukov, is its ability to offer absolutely everything the customer needs from one source. “When working on the improvement of a private house, you will be able to find a full list of solutions from the same manufacturer: roller shutters, garage doors, entrance gates (sliding and swing gates) as well as automation systems for comfortable operation. When equipping a warehouse complex or a logistics centre with sectional industrial doors, you can add high-quality auxiliary equipment for loading and unloading operations.”
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Capacity expansion In addition to product development, in order to keep pace with its increasing output the ALUTECH Group invests regularly into increasing capacity at its various plants. As one example of this, two years ago it launched Alutech Sectional Doors LLC, covering an area of 55,000m2 – the largest production site in Belarus. At the same time it also installed a number of automated units and lines for the production of sandwich panels, lines for the production of a sectional door curtain and an automated warehouse for the sorting and storage of products. The group has also expanded its capabilities in the production of profile systems: AluminTechno JLLC recently launched a new foundry facility with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes of aluminium per year, as well as a secondary coating unit and an anodising line. Looking forward, automation is the watchword for further capacity expansion, as Mr Zhukov explains: “In the near future we plan to automate lines for the production of guides, to launch industrial robots for laser cutting on metal and to install automatic lines for the welding of this equipment. To recap, I would like to note that the main aim for the coming years is to automate all production processes and to load them to full capacity. This will allow us to more quickly recoup all investments.” All facilities are equipped with the most modern equipment from leading suppliers in Germany, Italy, Japan and other regions. Among the many key suppliers of raw materials our interviewee is keen to mention are Akzonobel, DOW, Stublina, Roto and RUSAL. The majority of these, he says, have been working with the group since its establishment in 1996.
Construction & ENGINEERING
Key markets As a Belarussian company, the main markets for ALUTECH are the CIS countries, where it is the leader in roller shutters and one of the biggest players in sectional doors. Its goal for the future, however, is to expand further afield and Mr Zhukov explains the reasons for this: “Western European markets are more progressive and more capacious in terms of turnover. More than 60 per cent of the entire range of roller shutters is already being sold to the countries of Western and Eastern Europe. In the near future, we plan to reach the same level for sectional doors.” “The situation for the aluminium profile system is different: we have only recently begun to promote these solutions for export. It turned out the certification process for aluminium profile systems for Europe took us a long time, but now we supply other markets with the products certified in accordance with the standards of Germany, Italy, France, Czech Republic, USA and some other countries of the world.”
Mr Zhukov concludes: “Of course, we will continue keeping our focus on the hi-tech countries of the European Union. Despite the fact that we are a Belarussian company, our plants are built using modern European technical equipment and the quality of our products is recognised at international level by the leading institutes of the USA, Italy, France, Germany and the CIS countries. All of this adds up to our key competitive advantage that sets us apart from small local suppliers: ALUTECH is the n optimal combination of price and quality.”
Forward-focused Aside from growing in international markets, the ALUTECH Group’s priority for growth over the next few years is to expand its product range still further. It already operates in several niches, such as Classic roller shutters and Economy roller shutters, and in the near future it will extend this niche offering with Premium roller shutters and garage doors.
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Concrete solutions Husqvarna has become a household name in most countries. The well-established Swedish group is a renowned manufacturer of outdoor power products, consumer watering products, concrete cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. Romana Moares spoke to Mathias Pfitzenmeier, regional managing director of Husquarna Construction Products Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia, about its recent expansion and plans for the future.
he Husqvarna brand is unique when it comes to the breadth of its product range, with the Construction division offering the whole spectrum of light construction equipment from cutting for rehabilitation to modernisation. “We really are a one-stop shop regarding light construction equipment, a company that continuously innovates its portfolio. The focus on innovation is another aspect that makes us unique,” says Mathias Pfitzenmeier. 122 Industry Europe
He confirms that the last few years have been very successful for the company, with several acquisitions and increasing sales. Husqvarna has always been committed to developing products that meet customers’ needs and are efficient, ergonomic and user-friendly. That was one of the reasons for the recent acquisition of Pullman Ermator, a world-leading manufacturer of dust and slurry management systems for the construction industry. Pullman Ermator was the first company to
Construction & ENGINEERING
integrate the endless bagging system Longopac from Paxxo that enables dust free handling. The innovative dust extractors will complement and extend the range of Husquarna’s concrete cutting, drilling and grinding systems so that the company can provide even more efficient total solutions. Husqvarna Group’s Construction Division has also signed an agreement to acquire the Floor Grinding Solutions division of HTC Group AB, the market leader in floor grinding solutions, bringing extensive product and application expertise. “We have also acquired Swiss-based Demco Technic AG, a manufacturer of concrete cutting equipment, which will significantly strengthen our position in the Swiss market. So overall, the last two years have been a period of dynamic growth,” Mr Pfitzenmeier explains.
Comprehensive coverage Husqvarna Construction Products is a market leader in machinery and diamond tools for the construction and stone industry. The product range includes power cutters, flat saws, early entry saws, tile and masonry saws, wall and wire saws, core drilling machines, surface preparation equipment, demolition equipment and diamond tools for concrete cutting and removal.
“The fact that we offer such a wide product range that is being constantly innovated sets us apart from our competitors. By working with us, our business partners can limit the number of their suppliers – they can get most of what they need directly from us. Some of our solutions are unparalleled in the market and that is also what makes us so successful,” Mr Pfitzenmeier points out. The Construction division has no production site in Germany and focuses purely on marketing, sales and services. It does operate specific service facilities, however, where the customisation and special enhancement of products are carried out. What is the bestselling product? “It is really hard to single out one specific tool or equipment,” says the area manager. “Some ten years ago I would have said the power cutter was the one that sold most but these days there is not a single product I would pick. The whole portfolio is strong with very even revenue distribution.”
Future trends With increasing urbanisation and the gradual growth of Europe’s construction industry, the company has every reason to look with optimism into the future. Mr Pfitzenmeier observes that one of the most influential aspects of current development is the switch from
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petrol to battery. “This is already happening in the Husqvarna Forest & Garden Division. Gardena, the other brand of Husquarna which specialises in watering and garden tooling, already has a good portfolio of battery-operated equipment. In the harsh construction environment, there is a little more to it but this change will undoubtedly come sooner than later.” He affirms that the other area on which Husqvarna’s product development specialists in Sweden are focusing at the moment is meeting customers’ requirements in terms of environmental friendliness, noise reduction and dust limitation. “Dust is a big topic at the moment – the aim is to reduce the amount of visible dust but also
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to reduce the amount of extra-fine particles with a view to improving worker safety. These aspects will drive future product development and we will see a lot of new products addressing these issues in the very near future.” He also mentions the rising importance of ergonomics as well as remote-control capabilities. “Young people want to work differently; they do not want to put up with the physical drudgery the older generation had to. The working environment will become smarter and ‘connected’ and work will become physically lighter. Our product development engineers are processing all of these challenges to come up with products that can meet sophisticated future requirements.”
Construction & ENGINEERING
In this context Mr Pfitzenmeier mentions the significance of the VDMA membership. VDMA, the largest Mechanical Engineering Industry Association in Europe, represents more than 3200 mostly medium-sized companies in the capital goods industry and provides a platform for information and experience sharing. “The membership is very important and very valuable to us. We attend regular meetings and the information sharing drives new technology.”
Continued growth Husqvarna’s Construction division, with its subsidiaries around the world and manufacturing locations in more than 10 countries, has a true global footprint. The company regularly introduces new products and innovations at all major trade fairs and shows, such as Bauma in Munich, The World of Concrete in Las Vegas and many more. With the German economy developing steadily, the area manager remains confident about the coming years. “I believe that we will continue to grow like we have done in the last five years. We have an excellent range of high quality products and there is more to come. While all of our mature markets are growing, we can see big potential in the emerging markets in terms of both infrastructure and housing development. We have just opened a subsidiary in India and will pay special attention to that region.” Given the speed of growth and innovations as well as the economic forecast, it is a safe bet that n Husquarna will remain a market leader for years to come.
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One step ahead Tarkett is a global leader in the development and manufacture of sustainable flooring for domestic, commercial and sports surface applications. The company continues to stay one step ahead of the competition through its development of sustainable, innovative flooring that meets today’s technological and environmental challenges, as Philip Yorke reports.
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Construction & ENGINEERING
arkett has been producing unique flooring and sports surface solutions for more than 130 years for homes, offices, hospitals, retail stores, hotels and a broad range of sports venues. The company’s drive for leadership through sustainable, profitable growth is based on a range of key success strategies that create value for its customers and stakeholders alike. Tarkett was founded in France in 1880 by two young entrepreneurs whose early success set the stage for the future growth of the company. Tarkett’s new headquarters are located in the prestigious ‘La Defence’ area of Paris, and are the hub for its global operations which span over 100 countries and five continents. Today the Tarkett Group employs more than 12,000 people worldwide and in 2016 recorded consolidated revenues of more than €2.7 billion.
Every year the Tarkett group sells more than 1.3 million square metres of flooring each day, and these are manufactured in-house at its 34 modern production sites, which are strategically located worldwide.
Award winning innovation Tarkett not only sees sustainability as the cornerstone of its strategy for future growth, but also innovation and design. In the European theatre this is being driven by Fabrice Barthelemy, the company’s president of its EMEA division since February 2017, who is also a member of the Executive Management Committee and reports directly to Tarkett’s new CEO, Glen Morrison. Barthelemy joined Tarkett in 2008 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and has also been responsible for the company’s information systems and corporate legal departments.
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A fine example of Tarkett’s continuing quest for innovation and sustainability is its recent launch in the EMEA region of a unique, modular vinyl tile flooring system created with designers and architects in mind. This new collection makes custom-made interior environments more exciting than ever before. Built upon the principle of combining colours, shapes and patterns, iD Mixonomi® is an intuitive tool created to provide personalised and tailor-made flooring installations from timeless patterns to the most vibrant collages. This exciting new product line offers an inspiring palette of 33 colours and 10 shapes to provide endless design options. This innovative new collection has been awarded the coveted Red Dot Award for product design excellence in 2017. This was won in competition with participants from over 50 countries that entered around 5500 product designs and innovations.
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For this special collection, Tarkett has also developed a dedicated online library of patterns and layouts, along with a configurator and digital visualiser. It also provides further inspiration for bespoke flooring designs, thus offering a unique customer experience. Tarkett’s iD Mixonomi has been available throughout the EMEA area since September 2017.
Circular sustainability For many years Tarkett has been committed to sustainability and the circular economy by applying cradle to cradle principles across all its activities. The company’s ReStart® collection and recycling programme is one of the cornerstones of its commitment to closing the material loop. A new strategic partnership with Veolia has enabled it to offer clients a better collection and recycling service, while increasing volumes and the quality of recycled input in its flooring.
It also illustrates the capacity of the private sector to offer solutions that support sustainable economic growth. Tarkett and Veolia are both members of the World Economic Forum and Circular Economy 100 Network, where the two companies engage in new projects and discussions to stimulate the acceleration of the Circular Economy on an international scale.
New EasyTurf acquisition In tandem with the company’s strategy for sustainability and eco-friendly operations, it has acquired many companies over the last decade that share its commitment to sustainability. Significant acquisitions in recent years have included many of the world’s brand leaders, such as Marley Floors, Field Turf, Johnsonite and Tandus, the leading commercial carpet company in the US.
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However, Tarkett’s most recent takeover has been through its EasyTurf subsidiary, which recently acquired the assets of AlternaScapes, a landscape turf distributor and installer located in North America. For almost 20 years, the company has been a key distributor for Tarkett’s FieldTurf products, which are designed for use in artificial turf sports facilities of all kinds. Tarkett also recently strengthened its commercial and industrial activities in China by acquiring the assets of a vinyl flooring facility located near Beijing. This is now fully operational and producing a wide range of Tarkett sustainable flooring products. These strategic acquisitions, and key business partnerships, are driving the sales of Tarkett products worldwide to new levels. For further details of Tarkett’s innovative sustainable flooring, and sports flooring solutions visit: www.tarkett.com
Energy & Utilities
Energy to change Long-established Finnish technology group Wärtsilä is highly respected both for its impressive, innovative engines for large-scale power applications and for its ability to stay relevant in a changing energy market. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to vice-president Melle Kruisdijk to learn more.
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ounded in 1834, headquartered in Helsinki and with an annual revenue of over €4.8 billion, it’s fair to say that Wärtsilä is one of Finland’s most recognised and respected companies. As the first company to create a gas fired engine, Wärtsilä has consistently been at the forefront of smart energy, even before it was considered the right thing to do. Wärtsilä Energy Solutions vice-president Melle Kruisdijk explains that the fact the company has been at the top of its game for nearly two centuries is a clear illustration of its ability to refresh its focus when necessary. Mr Kruisdijk told Industry Europe, “We have been active for over 180 years and I can certainly confirm that we have always had our eyes open; the company has really developed over
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those many years and has changed quite a lot. We’ve always been looking at the market and also outside the market. Perhaps the most important element of our continual development has been our real strength when it comes to utilising our core competences for the best advantage of our customers and ourselves.” The core competences of Wärtsilä can be identified as advanced technologies and complete life cycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. The company has long focused on sustainable innovation and total efficiency, making it an important player in the ongoing development of engines for energy and marine applications. Mr Kruisdijk explained, “Thanks to our long-term focus on looking into the future to identify the
Energy & Utilities
potential trends and demands in energy generation and utilisation, we knew that gas would play an important role in energy systems. We were the first company to create a gas-fired engine when previously they were only diesel and, particularly since the early 1990s, we have played an increasingly important role in the sustainable energy environment.”
Power to the world With over 18,000 employees and over 200 locations in more than 70 countries worldwide, Wärtsilä, which is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki, is a global leader. Dedicated to maximising the environmental and economic performance of its customers’ vessels and power plants, Wärtsilä comprises three business divisions; marine solutions, energy solutions and services. The marine solutions business at Wärtsilä is focused on enhancing the business of its marine and oil and gas industry customers by providing innovative and integrated solutions.
Wärtsilä’s energy solutions business sees the company as a leading global energy system integrator offering a broad range of environmentally-sound solutions. Mr Kruisdijk noted, “Our offer includes ultra-flexible engine based power plants, utility-scale solar PV power plants, energy storage and integration solutions, and LNG terminals and distribution systems. As of 2017, Wärtsilä has 63 GW of installed power plant capacity in 176 countries around the world. We know that our flexible and efficient solutions provide customers with superior value and enable the transition to a more sustainable and modern energy system.”
Total support The services business from Wärtsilä is a thorough support provision that meets every possible demand from its global customers. The company has a network of over 11,000 professionals in 160 countries across the world – the largest network of its kind in the
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CZECH PRECISON FORGE (CPF) CZECH PRECISON FORGE (CPF) is a traditional Czech company with international management with strong standing on world and domestic markets in closed-die forging and open-die forging. The roots of the CPF company stem from its past as a forge with a large range of products for global producers in power generation, marine industry, transport technology, aviation, oil industry, and other engineering sectors. With its unique manufacturing facilities, certification, management ownership, language availability, and flexibility CPF offers to all customers its forging services in a form which is responsive to customer expectations and requirements.
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Energy & Utilities
Melle Kruisdijk, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions vice-president
industry – and is able to service and support more than 12,000 customers each year. Mr Kruisdijk added, “We have an extensive and totally flexible portfolio of services in order to ensure that we deliver whatever it may be that the customer requires – wherever and whenever they need it. So from spare parts to complete operational, maintenance and optimisation services, Wärtsilä is always next to our customers, supporting them in growing their business.” This competence in installation and optimisation is certainly a key thread that runs through the success story that is Wärtsilä. As the company is always open minded about innovative solutions, its continued involvement in the development of opportunities in renewable energy, such as its current activities in the photovoltaic solar business, is just one example of how this long-established company is totally future-focused. Mr Kruisdijk said, “It makes economic sense as well as environmental sense to be smart and active in the renewables field; it’s important for everyone, so let’s utilise our expertise for the good of everyone. Hence, we’re working on battery storage where costs are really going down and we’ll see bigger volumes, which is good. Decarbonisation is essentially n the biggest trend across our industry.” Industry Europe 135
Long lasting power Budapest Erőmű Zrt is a modern, professionally managed and socially responsible energy company that respects the environment and constantly increases its value by enhancing the efficiency of its core activities. The company wishes to maintain its leading market position in district heating and is preparing for the future by developing new business opportunities to take full benefit of the synergies with its new owner, the Czech EP Holding energy group. Edina Beale reports.
nergy company Budapest Erőmű Zrt has been supplying the Hungarian capital for over 100 years. Today it operates three cogeneration power plants to produce electricity and heat for district heating simultaneously. While the company is the leading district heating supplier in the capital, furnishing around 60 per cent of Budapest’s heat requirements, it has also acquired a 3 per cent share of the national electricity market. The Újpest, Kelenföldi and Kispest plants use combined cycle production technology to provide heating energy and electricity within the same facility. This technology has been upgraded to increase efficiency and provide a substantially improved, environmentally friendly method of producing heat and electricity. Today Budapest Erőmű Zrt has a combined electricity production capacity of 406 MW and heat production capacity of 1182 MW. 136 Industry Europe
New directions In 2001, Budapest Erőmű Zrt became a member of the wellknown European energy operator EDF, and was later required to develop a completely new trading structure due to Hungary’s accession to the EU. In 2008 the Hungarian state abrogated PPA type contracts with all power plants, including Budapest Erőmű Zrt, but the company has managed to overcome the challenges of the new trading environment and stabilised its operations in the newly transformed market. In 2015 one of the leading central European energy groups, the Czech EP Holding, expanded in Hungary as part of its Europe-wide acquisition run. In July 2015, daughter company EP Energy sealed a deal with the Hungarian unit of EDF to buy a majority 95.6 per cent stake in Budapest Erőmű Zrt.
Energy & Utilities
The new owner showed Budapest Erőmű Zrt a new strategic direction and it now concentrates on the most important business issues, explains Mr András Vinkovits, president and CEO of Budapest Erőmű Zrt: “Our new owner, EP Holding, has a dynamic development programme and they are currently the 6th or 7th biggest energy group producing electricity in Europe. Budapest Erőmű Zrt is opened for more freedom then before, and new directions in economic and professional development have been shown to us.
Our aim within Budapest Erőmű Zrt now is to maintain a reliable and profitable operation in the long term, and our development programme is designed to achieve this plan.”
Up to date technologies Operations are continuously being evaluated in order to identify new solutions to improve the efficiency of the power plants. “Our power plants are continuously being developed and modernised with new
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technologies. At the Kelenföld power plant we made a significant development to improve our gas turbines in 2011 and as a result we have increased our efficiency and reduced emissions,” says Mr Vinkovits. It was a significant investment with a value of more than HUF 10 billion in Kelenföld and the project was completed in 2012. In addition, the company also examined the other plants in Kispest and Újpest to see how it could reduce the price of district heating and how it could be more competitive in the field of electricity production. “At present our power plants meet all existing environmental regulations,” confirms Mr Vinkovits. “In 2016 new emission values were put in force, and our gas turbines still meet these; however we will need to update our furnaces until 2020/22 so they will adhere to the new specifications. In the future our task is to make our power plants available for good service and provide a reliable district heating supply in Hungary.”
Strong prospects It has been a long-term objective for Budapest Erőmű Zrt to maintain a strong position in the constantly changing district heating market and to work with the direct supplier, Főtáv, to find out how it can bring more customers in to the market in both the traditional heating season as well as in the summer. “In the district heating market we cooperate closely with Főtáv to provide better conditions for newly joined customers,” confirms Mr Vinkovits. “Luckily, there are more and more people interested in district heating and new customers in residential areas have appeared on the market lately. For our existing customers we are continuously working to improve our production efficiencies so we can reduce or maintain our prices for them. Besides Főtáv, who is our biggest partner, we have an industrial customer for which we produce steam.” Budapest Erőmű Zrt intends to modernise its operations in the near future in order to become more competitive in electricity pro138 Industry Europe
Energy & Utilities
duction. Although its long-term fixed contract with MVM, to which it had previously sold half of its electricity, expired at the end of 2016, Budapest Erőmű Zrt now manages to sell its entire output to market traders and on the HUPX power exchange. Mr Vinkovits is positive about the future and expects the company to continue its long lasting prosperity: “Our short term objective is to maintain our market share on the electricity market and to increase our production and our presence step by step on the district heating market. Over the long term we would like to be in a position to take advantage of newly raised opportunities for dynamic development, which would also support EPH’s plans for growth in Hungary.” n
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Food and Beverage
Cheese from the Tatra Mountains Savencia Fromage & Dairy, Inc. has been operating in the Czech and Slovak Republics since 1993. Today, as a result of the unique quality and unmistakable taste of its products, the company is the market leader in the cheese and dairy specialities segment. Mr Tomáš Čierny, the Industrial Director of the group’s dairy in Liptovský Mikuláš, talks about its development, product range and current activities.
avencia Fromage & Dairy Group is one of the leading milk processors and the biggest brand cheese maker in the world. With an annual turnover of €4.4 billion, the group employs over 18,000 people in 28 countries. Its position in the Czech and Slovak Republics is strong – it operates three production facilities with 21,000 people and continuously invests in improved parameters and increased capacity. Production in Slovakia has a long tradition going back to 1943. In the early 1970s a new dairy plant was built in Liptovský Mikuláš, commissioned six years later, which is still the headquarters of today’s – much changed – company. After 1989, the company changed owners several times, with the latest such change completed in 2000 when it was acquired by the Bongrain Group (today Savencia Fromage & Dairy SK, a.s.). The new owner shifted the company’s focus to the production of cheese – mainly steamed and pressed cheese and bryndza (traditional Slovak sheep cheese). “Fully in line with the philosophy of the group, the dairy retained its traditional, local Slovak products, closely associated with the Liptov brand, which is the main brand of our current portfolio. Our dairy is proof that even within a large multinational group, the unique character of local products may be preserved,” says Tomáš Čierny.
Quality from the mountains The dairy in Liptovský Mikuláš specialises in the production of traditional Slovak cheeses, bryndza, pressed cheeses and butter of the Liptov brand – a traditional brand evoking the high quality of milk from the
Tatra mountains. “That is one of the reasons why we want to further develop the company to increase its share in the Czech and Slovak markets, where the brand has a very strong position. However, the Liptov products have a stable position in other countries too, such as Hungary, Romania, Germany and France, under the international brands of Milkana and P´tit Louis,” says the director. “All our products meet the highest quality requirements. Our key products are steamed cheeses, the popularity of which has been increasing not only in Slovakia and the Czech Republic but also in Germany and France.” The dairy processes sheep and cow’s milk up to the final product using four distinct processes (bryndza, butter, steamed and pressed cheeses). Investment in technologies is an important pre-requisite to staying competitive and is fully supported by the group. Every year substantial sums are invested in improving the hygiene criteria, increasing production capacity and also in the modernisation of the treatment stations to reduce the amount of chemicals and to reduce the environmental footprint. “Our suppliers are based primarily in the mountain regions of Liptov and Orava, the regions with the highest quality of milk. However, the top quality of products also requires a top quality production process. Our philosophy is to set the hygiene and quality standards significantly above the legislative requirements – something not every dairy may be able to afford due to increased costs. We have defined special standards for each product and each process, allowing for only minimum deviations to ensure repeatability,” explains Tomáš Čierny. The objective is to make a high quality product while maintaining its specific characteristics. Industry Europe 141
Market leader “Over 60 per cent of dairy products consumed in Slovakia are imported, which has a significant impact on local producers. Often, subsidised, sometimes low quality cheeses are imported with lower prices. In Slovakia, price is still an important factor for customers, sometimes more important than the origin or quality,” admits the director. Still, quality is the attribute that has helped forge the company’s position and it will remain the top priority. It is its high quality standards that have allowed the company to penetrate new markets – almost one third of its output is exported to the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hungary and Romania. When asked about new investments, Tomáš Čierny replies that at the moment, the key priority is to further develop the current portfolio. “Our dairy is going to work on improving the portfolio of steamed cheeses, bryndza, butter and pressed cheeses. We want to be spe-
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cialists and leaders in all of the product categories that are made in our plant, therefore the investment is directed towards improving current technologies to enhance efficiency and increase capacity, simplify the production processes and remove some of the manual activities. This is our plan for the future. It is not our intention to focus on expansion and the introduction of new products: we want to remain a specialist, because this is the way to be the best in our category,” he explains. In the near future the company is going to strengthen its export potential and will invest in new packaging machines to make sure the products are competitive in their export markets. Although the dairy in Liptovský Mikuláš is a member of the French Savencia Group, the delicacies from the north of Slovakia keep their specific characteristics as well as flavour. According to the director, even today they represent the pinnacle of quality dairy products from the Tatra region. n And will continue to do so...
Home Electronics, Appliances & HVAC
World-first in fitness tracking Jabra is a global leader in the development and manufacture of a broad range of communications and sound solutions including wireless and corded headsets for mobile phone users and contact centres. Philip Yorke reports on a company that has strengthened its global market position through its innovative technology and exceptional product functionality.
abra Corporation is a subsidiary of GN Netcom and has its roots in the Norcom Electronics Corporation of America, which was founded in 1983 by entrepreneur Elwood Norris. In 2006 GN Netcom consolidated its contact centre and office headset division under the Jabra Brand and this was followed by the restructuring of the company in 2008. This strategic move resulted in a greater focus on global businessto-business and consumer markets. Today the company continues to focus on innovation and investment in new technology in order to extend its lead in the headset marketplace. Jabra’s head office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark from where it manages its diverse global operations. It employs around 1000 people and in 2016 recorded sales of more than DDK 4 billion
Advances in wireless headphones Recently Jabra announced the launch of its next generation of wireless sports headphones with a unique fitness tracking feature, which is a world first. The company recently unveiled its Jabra Sports Pulse and Jabra Sport Coach special editions with improvements in fit, sound, durability and a range of other smart new sports features. It subsequently introduced the Jabra Sports Pulse and Jabra Sports Coach special editions. Optimised for running, the Jabra Sport Pulse special edition is the world’s first sports headphone to feature automatic and continuous VO2 Max fitness testing. Just like the company’s existing line-up of Jabra sports headphones, the new editions offer quality calls, music for motivation and intelligent Industry Europe 143
in-ear coaching to help enhance training effectiveness. In addition, these next generation versions deliver innovation in all areas, with passive noise cancellation, a broader choice of fitting options, improved durability and many unique, intelligent sports features. Max data generated by the Jabra Sports Pulse Special Edition allows the user to track their fitness development and really get the most from a work-out. The above-mentioned intelligent in-ear coaching provides realtime feedback based upon the athlete’s heart rate and level of fitness. At the end of a run, the Jabra Sport Life app provides a range of information to help improve future fitness levels, including distance covered, pace, route, calories burned and training effect. Furthermore, the Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition models are the world’s first headphones to feature automatic repetition counting through the TrackFit® motion sensor. Along with the integrated in-ear coaching, they provide the freedom to plan, track and focus on the day’s workout.
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Combination stereo headphones Jabra’s intelligent stereo headphones offer users all-day calls and music in one. Designed for optimal voice quality, Jabra Halo Smart Wireless stereo headphones provide a superior sound experiencewith up to 17 hours battery life for on-the-go lifestyles. This latest advanced product from Jabra fits 80 per cent of users who want one set of headphones for both calls and music, but find the call experience on most music devices inadequate. Designed for calls first and foremost, Jabra Halo Smart uses a high quality microphone with integrated wind-noise protection for enhanced in-call quality and subtle vibration alert to ensure that calls are never missed. The intelligence of Jabra Halo Smart lies in its ability to let the user manage calls, music and media from one device. It also allows users to access SiriTM or Google NowTM at the touch of a button and keeps the wearer connected and informed in a number of ways. “We are all doing
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more with our smart-phones than ever before, whether it’s making or taking calls, listening to music on-the-move or watching a movie clip during a break. So we wanted to create a set of wireless headphones that deliver amazing sound whatever you are doing, whether taking calls or listening to music,” said Calum Mac-Dougall, SVP at Jabra.
Innovation and acquisition driving growth In October 2016, GN Audio, the owner of Jabra, announced it had acquired the VXi Corporation, the headset manufacturer of both the VXi and BlueParrott brands. “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with VXi. The acquisition further strengthens our position on the North American market, where we have shown strong progress in recent years. We will build on VXi’s strong presence and reputation in the US and combine it with the international reach and professionalism of GN audio and the Jabra team,” said Paul Hamnet, President for GN Audio in North America. Jabra is a brand of the global GN Group, which stands out as a world leader in intelligent audio solutions that transform people’s
lives through the power of sound. The GN Group is made up of GN Hearing with the flagship hearing-aid brand, ReSound and GN Audio with its flagship brand Jabra, which now also includes the VXi and BlueParrot brands. The cutting edge headsets and industry leading medical smart hearing-aid technology makes the GN Group unique in the industry. This unrivalled technological mix enables it to be the only company that can transform deep insight from both the hearing aid and the headset customers into world-leading expertise in the human auditory system, sound processing and wireless technologies. The acquisition of VXi will further strengthen GN Audio’s presence and market share in the important North American market as well as allowing it access to new and attractive market segments. It also gives GN Audio the opportunity to leverage VXi’s best-in-class expertise within ‘High n Noise’ communication environments. For further details of Jabra’s latest innovative products and services visit: www.jabra.com
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Committed to sustainable
Sabaf is a global leader in the development and manufacture of key components for household appliances. The company’s success is based on its strong commitment to innovation and technological excellence. Philip Yorke reports on a company that continues to set new industry standards in order to meet the changing and challenging demands of this fast evolving consumer sector.
ounded in Italy in 1950, Sabaf has grown steadily to become Europe’s leading household appliance component manufacturer and is a major player on the global stage. The company produces thermostats, gas cooker burners and taps, as well as special hinges for dishwashers, ovens and washing machines. Sabaf is the supplier of choice for many of the world’s leading appliance brands. The company’s exceptional technical know-how, production flexibility and its ability to offer of a wide range of components keep it ahead of the competition. All its products are designed according to the needs of its individual clients and markets, which adds to the strength of the Sabaf Group. With a turnover of over €130 million in 2016, the group is currently estimated to hold more than 50 per cent of the European market and over 10 per cent of the global market in this sector.
Driving technological evolution A lifetime of commitment to quality and innovation has paid considerable dividends for the Sabaf Group. For example, a continuous programme of product optimisation has allowed the company to create not one but three versions of its famous triple-crown burner, thus setting new standards for the industry in the process. This has resulted in the company being at the forefront of the 4kW DCC market with millions of these components being produced every year at its state-of-the-art facilities worldwide. Being acknowledged as the undisputed technological leader in its field, its capacity for technological innovation is valued at both the product level and that of the machinery it makes to manufacture 148 Industry Europe
and assemble them. The company’s significant annual investments in R&D has made it possible for it to evolve strategically in order to meet the global demands for increasingly more efficient, sustainable and safer products.
Broad high-tech portfolio Sabaf’s extensive product range includes gas burners for ovens and grills, as well as thermostats, taps and hinges for a range of household appliances. Recently the company created a burner that guarantees continuous optimal performance with excellent flame distribution. Thanks to their special electrodes, thermo-couplings and innovative positioning systems, the burners are able to obtain performances identical to those of uncovered burners, with flame lighting and safety activation times reduced to less than 1.5 seconds. This represents an unprecedented improvement compared to what has been available on the market to date and has revolutionised this home appliance sector. For almost 70 years Sabaf has designed and manufactured a wide range of thermostats for gas cooking appliances. These gas thermostats are used in free standing cookers and built-in ovens. They are available in one or two-way versions and with or without a flame failure device. In terms of quality and safety, they are considered to be the best on the market and have been approved by the most stringent international quality certification bodies including European (CE) USA (CSA) and SASO (Saudi Arabia). Sabaf thermostats can also be used to activate other built-in devices including timers and micro-switches to operate fans, and oven lights.
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Another Sabaf product that continues to set new standards for the industry is its range of taps for household appliances. These can be configured in brass or extruded aluminium alloy and can be used in free-standing cookers or in built-in hobs. These are all available with or without a flame failure device. Sabaf’s taps can also be fitted with a variety of micro switches and the company has recently developed a patented micro-switch harness that offers a unique rapid-lock assembly system.
Focus on sustainability Sabaf’s mission is to guarantee sustainable development through the balancing of economic and financial requirements relating to those connected with the design, production and distribution of its extensive range of components for domestic gas cooker appliances. Therefore the company is constantly engaged in making decisions based upon ethical values and a respect for its social
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and environmental responsibilities. The company’s manufacturing sites in Italy and elsewhere are designed to ensure that its products are not only based on the highest technological standards, but also created with the environment and sustainability in mind. Further attention to environmental issues can be found in Sabaf’s manufacturing processes, which are constantly lowering energy consumption during manufacturing and in the development of more eco-efficient products. Underscoring its focus on the environment yet further, Sabaf has become an advocate, together with the Brazilian Regulatory Authority, to uphold the ban on the use of Zamak, a zinc and aluminium alloy for the production of gas cooker taps, due to its n inherent health risks. For further details of Sabaf’s innovative range of household appliance components and services visit: www.sabaf.it
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Thriving business Since its establishment in 1999, Grundfos Manufacturing Ltd Hungary has seen continuous growth and has become the second largest production unit within the worldwide operations of the Grundfos Group, employing over 2000 people. Edina Beale reports on the company’s successful development and its current activities.
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ith an annual output of more than 16 million pump units, the Denmark based Grundfos group is one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers. It is the largest manufacturer of circulator pumps (UP), covering approximately 50 per cent of the world’s market. Its Hungarian subsidiary, Grundfos Manufacturing Ltd Hungary, provides a large contribution to the overall results of the group, as the company manufactures the two other major product categories: submersible pumps (SP) and centrifugal pumps (CR).
Speedy expansion Today the Grundfos group is represented by 58 companies in 45 countries. The company transferred its electric pump motor production from Denmark to Tatabánya in Hungary in 2000. The €15 million investment in the 15,000m2 property proved so successful that in 2002 Grundfos opened another 15,000m2 facility in the same town to manufacture cast iron norm/block, inline and sewage pumps. Then, in 2005, the first site was extended by another 7000m2 in order for the company to start producing submersible motors. Investments have also been made in equipment and production lines, partly transferred from western European factories, but a large investment was also made to further increase production capacity. With this new expansion, the total level of investment made by Grundfos in Hungary rose to nearly €150 million. Soon all facilities were producing to full capacity again and Grundfos was obliged to search for a new site to extend its Hungarian operations still further. In 2007 it selected the industrial city of Székesfehérvár to establish its third production site, where it manufactures small stainless steel drainage, machine tool pumps and cables.
The leading foreign subsidiary The same city is the home to the group’s latest site, Grundfos’s fourth Hungarian production plant, which was built in 2013. The 12 billion HUF investment created 350 new jobs and Grundfos’s Hungarian operations became the group’s second largest after Denmark, today employing over 2000 people. Due to this investment Grundfos has strengthened its important role in the water utility service segment. Here, it makes pumps based on individual requests from sewage handling firms. As these products are not standardised, the company employs the most skilled engineers to satisfy the unique requirements of its customers.
Europe’s largest testing facility The new factory was built on a 29,000m2 site, which enabled the firm to develop a new production facility, offices and to build its own research and development centre with modern testing equipment. Before this investment, the Grundfos R&D department in Hungary only took part in redevelopment projects; however, now the company is able to develop brand new products on this site with the most experienced and skilled design engineers. In addition to a nearly 5000m2 laboratory Grundfos built Europe’s most modern and largest pump testing pool facility. The deepest point of the 1500m3 pool is 14 metres; and pumps with the largest diameter, up to 1 metre, can be tested here. The close proximity between the testing centre and the production facility – literally a couple of staircase and a few doors – is extremely useful as this makes it easier to make changes and discuss and prevent problems. Grundfos sewage pumps are produced in China, Russia, USA and in the Hungarian sites, but pumps are designed and developed by Finnish and Hungarian
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engineers who have to speak with Finnish and Chinese colleagues frequently. This can be a challenging task because of the time differences and distance; however, as each product is tested in the Székesfehérvár factory before being supplied to customers, the highest quality is still guaranteed.
Sales, maintenance and financial service centres The sales centre in Törökbálint, which was established three years before the first production site in Hungary, is not only responsible for the domestic sales but also operates as a maintenance centre to provide the best possible customer service. In addition to this, Grundfos South East Europe Kft sells products directly to 12 countries. In 2010 the Danish mother company also established the Grundfos Shared Service centre, its financial service department headquartered in Budapest. This unit was set up to record and process all financial activities of the 41 European Grundfos companies in order to provide fast and efficient accounting services for the manufacturing subsidiaries. The centre today employs over 100 financial professionals.
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Growth, quality and sustainability on tap “We are not interested in competing on price. What distinguishes us is quality, technology, design, efficiency and environmental sustainability,” explains Carlo Alberto Nobili, Operations Director of the taps and fittings producer Carlo Nobili SpA, in a conversation with Barbara Rossi.
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arlo Nobili SpA designs and manufactures kitchen, bathroom and private wellness taps and fittings. These three families of products are of equivalent importance in terms of turnover. Each of these product areas offers product lines belonging to two categories: professional and premium. The former is aimed at taps and fittings professionals, such as plumbers, while the latter’s clientele is made up of architects, showrooms and building developers. While design is important for both categories, the priority for products belonging to the professional category is functionality and ergonomics, rather than simply aesthetics. While these factors are also important for the premium range, the focus on aesthetic considerations is more important than for the previous category. Carlo Nobili SpA also offers other brands – namely Stella, Cgs and Mera Ski – which have been acquired over the years. “We develop new products every year. Sometimes they are brand new products, sometimes a restyling of existing ones. In terms of the bathroom offer, we develop at least two new series for the professional segment every year and about one series a year for its premium counterpart. For the kitchen lines, we launch about ten new products a year overall – in other words for both categories, professional and premium. We invest five million euros a year in developing new and more energy efficient products, increasing our plant’s energy efficiency and production capacity, and optimising company welfare for our staff.” Carlo Nobili was established by Carlo Nobili in 1954. Based near the north-western Italian town of Novara, the company was initially a commercial organisation, specialised in bathroom and kitchen taps and fittings. The transformation into a taps and fittings designer and manufacturer took place in the 1970s, when the Dormelletto (Novara) plant was built. This was followed in 1990 by the Suno (Novara) site, which from the very start was designed to be technologically-advanced and environmentally friendly. This is still the main site of the company and will soon undergo further expansion. In 2000 the new generation of the family – Alberto, Pierluigi and Maria Grazia Nobili – took leadership of the company. In 2015, as well as gaining the UNI EN ISO 14001 certification, thanks to implementation of the melting department the firm became the first company in Europe to be able to avail itself of full-cycle production at a single production site.
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Suno is the main site of the company, where all production for the Nobili brand takes place. It occupies a 100,000m2 covered area and will soon be expanded by another 50,000 to manufacture and assemble new components and thus be ready for future production growth. Production for the other previously mentioned brands takes place at other sites. “All our products are manufactured in Italy and we intend to continue to pursue this production model, as in this way we have full control of the whole production chain, even at supplier level. This is a guarantee in terms of quality, efficiency, reliability and environmental sustainability.”
A zero emissions company Since its establishment the Suno plant has been strongly focused on environmental sustainability. Here the company has installed 9414 photovoltaic modules covering an area of over 9000m2, thus enabling it to produce a large amount of green energy, estimated to be around 1,000,000 KWh. In fact, a very significant percentage of the power required by the company is produced in this way. Furthermore, the company has installed LED lighting, thus reducing energy consumption by another 40 per cent. Another important step has been that of equipping itself with a fleet of electric vehicles, which has translated into a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions. Furthermore, no production dust or fumes are released into the atmosphere and water waste is also kept to a minimum. All its packaging is FSC-certified and fully recyclable, in addition to the fact that all the thermo-plastic and brass waste is recycled. Production materials waste is kept to minimum levels anyway, all of which has resulted in Nobili being classified as a zero-emissions company. The products offered by Nobili are also highly efficient in terms of water and energy consumption. The company was the first to offer water- and energy-saving mixers. Furthermore, being equipped with its own R&D department, the company collaborates with its larger suppliers in terms of materials and machinery innovations. “Occasionally innovation comes through collaboration with a small supplier, but this is obviously more difficult for them. Generally, it is mainly achieved in cooperation with our larger materials and machinery suppliers.”
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Global presence “We exclusively work with the B2B segment, mainly supplying wholesalers/showrooms and professionals in the bathroom, kitchen and private wellness taps and fittings sector. Seventy per cent of our turnover is generated by this clientele. In addition to this segment, we serve the nautical industry (from yachts to cruise ships), building developers and hotels. These are niche sectors and generate the remainder of our turnover. These percentages slightly vary from year to year, but I expect them to keep the same balance in future.” Present in over 80 countries, covering all continents, in order of importance the company’s main geographical markets are: France, Italy, Australia, Germany, Spain and South Africa. “European markets are taken care of through a network of agents, and in other areas through collaborations with local distributors. Demand for the different products is pretty uniform as taste and needs have become globalised: the only differences relating to product adaptations are due to technical requirements.
“We are working hard to establish ourselves on the Chinese market, having opened a commercial branch, but production will remain in Italy. We will grow organically, thanks to the expansion in China, but also through further penetration of other existing markets, including Europe. For instance, we expect significant growth in Germany. The Middle-East is another market in which we are already present that offers good growth prospects. “Alongside the opening of new logistics and commercial branches, other factors aiding our future growth will be the adoption of a new organisational model and the significant technological investments we are making to develop energy- and water-efficient products in line with environmental sustainability. The new organisational model has become necessary due to the fast growth trend that we have experienced in recent years. With all of this in place, we should be ready to grow for the next 20 years.”
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Fast logistics, faster Fast-growing logistics specialist Flash has a big digital ambition. With a number of carefully-selected start-ups already adding value to its global offer, Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Philippe Higelin to find out more about the company.
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ounded in France in 1981, Flash is a premium logistics provider that specialises in same day deliveries. With 640 employees and access to a network of over 6000 vehicles and some 600 aircraft and helicopters, Flash has 37 dedicated offices in 18 countries worldwide, including Germany, Russia, Italy and the UK. Working with global brands such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Bosch and Caterpillar, Flash enjoys over 1500 longstanding partnerships with major clients, delivering small and large consignments on the same day across Europe and, if required, worldwide. Mr Higelin noted, “We started in France and we have now become a truly international company. Our strategic goal has been to develop our network in Germany (we bought a competitor, Schwerdtfeger, in summer 2017) and to improve our digital dimension by developing start-ups. Now that our start-ups are growing, we want to integrate everything seamlessly within one, seamlessly integrated Ad’hoc Logistic Platform.”
Only 24–48 hours Flash’s CEO Philippe Higelin spoke to Industry Europe to explain how the company’s deep understanding of the global logistics sector has enabled it to develop and invest in highly complementary start-ups. Mr Higelin explained, “As a highly successful logistics company, we are so excited to incubate a number of compatible start-ups so that we can be assured of offering our customers a competitive, reliable service for the long term. Each of our five start-ups are independent and we work to
the principle that they should be tested on the open market; if there’s a better solution for our needs, we’ll use it. We believe that by taking this approach, our start-ups and therefore our overall Flash service is the best it can possibly be.”
Adding value Right at the forefront of the value added services that are increasingly utilised by the logistics industry, Flash’s start-ups represent the changing face of this fast-growing sector. Mr Higelin continued, “Flash is specialised in urgent shipments, across Europe in particular but also worldwide if required. We are capable of meeting any premium transport need across Europe. We have an awesome and well-earned reputation for same-day deliveries for large global businesses, at a time when the vast majority of logistics companies do ‘day plus one’ shipments. So as a company that is already known as a dynamic driver in the logistics industry, our five exciting start-ups are pushing us further forward as an innovator.” Flash is 43 per cent owned by the ambitious EURAZEO Group, which is committed to continuous investment in technology and projects that are useful to the group and provide a solid financial foundation to the company. Each of the five Flash start-ups addresses a particular need in the logistics chain. The company defined various key elements of the delivery chain that it felt could be enhanced or improved on and so the Easy2Go, Easy4Pro, GeniusAcademy.eu, Easy2Trace, Upela Industry Europe 163
and Roberts.eu start-ups were established, acquired or invested in, as appropriate. Mr Higelin added, “Our network of start-ups is an important differentiator as they each provide disruptive solutions that push for new standards in the premium transport business.” Easy2Go offers a similar service to Flash in that it specialises in urgent deliveries, fully digitalised and disintermediated. It also has the added advantage of a focus on last mile deliveries for e-commerce providers. Mr Higelin explained, “Both Flash and Easy2Go work closely with clients requiring urgent deliveries but Easy2Go has a different target market with its SMEs, small business and individual customers, which is certainly where the bulk of the last mile and e-commerce market collides.” Easy4Pro is an interesting tool that works as a meta searcher and provides business intelligence and transparent reports for decision makers. Mr Higelin continued, “Easy4Pro works by scanning logistics suppliers, simplifying the relationship with suppliers as a more transparent comparison service as opposed to just the cheapest price. It’s a very valuable tool as you can search on various terms at the same time and make an informed comparison. It’s important as it is totally transparent – in an industry that has historically lacked transparency.” 164 Industry Europe
Boosting service GeniusAcademy.eu is an online training centre that trains the Flash drivers as well as drivers from other logistics providers. Mr Higelin explained how GeniusAcademy.eu supports the Flash drivers to quickly respond to market changes as well as keeping them among the most reliable and professional in the industry. The fourth Flash start-up is Easy2Trace, a tracking and fleet management app that the company’s drivers use to ensure all shipments are accurately trackable in real time. Mr Higelin said, “Tracking our shipments and managing our fleet is tremendously important. In the logistics industry, reliability and accuracy is everything – customers want to know where their parcel is and when it will be delivered. Easy2Trace supports this and gives accurate information to the customer.” Upela has recently been acquired by Flash, offering similar services but focused on parcels. Upela is an all-in-one e-commerce delivery service that focuses on parcels. Roberts.eu is the last of Flash’s incubated start-ups – its purpose is to use idle vehicles at a cheaper price to reduce empty mileage. Mr Higelin noted, “You can see that each of the Flash start-ups answer a
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very specific need and, as largely online platforms, have been developed by some of the industry’s smartest programmers and developers to ensure they add value to the Flash offer. But of course all of these solutions would be pointless if they weren’t totally dedicated to the best possible service for our customers! Everything we do is focused on creating tailor-made solutions that really add value.” It is clear that the ‘big digital ambition’ of Flash is already well in place. Working hard to continually develop digital solutions that smartly address the very specific needs of urgent delivery in the logistic sector, Flash and its complementary start-ups are further pushing forward the company’s strong market position. Mr Higelin concluded, “Our whole digital ambi-
tion is based on the fact that business sectors have had old school giants, but they are not necessarily the best at what they do...improvements are always possible! With this approach, we are always challenging ourselves, always disrupting the status quo to be the most efficient, the most reliable – that’s why all our start-ups are independent, so we’re taking market share because we’ve truly earned it. We want to be the n disrupter, not the disruptee.” www.flash.global/en – www.easy2trace.com – www.easy4pro.com www.geniusacademy.eu/en – www.upela.com/en – www.roberts.eu www.easy2go.fr/en
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Rolling on the right track NEWAG SA, a company based in Nowy Sacz, Poland, has for 140 years been a leading rolling stock manufacturer in the production, maintenance, and modernisation of railway rolling stock.
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EWAG was formed In 1876 when a technical facility was established in Nowy Sacz for the newly built Polish railways. Initially named the Imperial, it has changed its name several times with its core focus remaining solely on the heavy maintenance of locomotives. In 2005, the company finally changed its name to NEWAG SA and three years later it manufactured its first rail car in-house, the electric multiple unit 19WE. Since then, most of its income has been derived from manufacturing and in 2012 a new production hall designated to manufacturing the INSPIRO trains for the Warsaw underground was opened. The following year, the IMPULS Electric Multiple Unit manufactured by NEWAG became the first train in Poland to exceed the speed of 211 km/h. Two years later, the company broke its own speed record. The NEWAG-manufactured IMPULS 45WE train travelled with a speed of 226km/h and was the first Polish rail vehicle to meet the latest restrictive EU directives introduced in 2014.
A reliable partner NEWAG is an expert in the repair and modernization of electric locomotives, electric multiple units and subassemblies for rail vehicles. The production of diesel and electric multiple units, passenger cars and modernisation of diesel locomotives is conducted at its plant in Nowy Sacz, while electric locomotives are manufactured and modernised at the company’s branch in Gliwice. It is in Gliwice that the company’s latest family of products, the DRAGON and GRIFFIN locomotives, are manufactured. Its main plant in Nowy Sacz employs around1500 people and is responsible for 90 per cent of production.In 2016, NEWAG’s sales were estimated at PLN 559 million (around €133 million) and the net profit was PLN 11 million (more than €2.6 million). Whilst the domestic market still accounts for the largest percentage of NEWAG’s turnover, the company continues to sign foreign contracts. In 2013, the first one was signed with the Italian Ministry
of Infrastructure and Transport for the production and supply of four modern EMUs with diesel engines and electric transmission. In 2015, NEWAG signed a contract with an operator from Bari, Italy, to deliver five three-unit IMPULS II EMUs. NEWAG has successful partnerships with world leading suppliers including General Electric, Siemens AG, Stadler AG and Bombardier. In Poland, it cooperates with well-known companies such as Drabpol, Eneria, Extral, Grodziska Fabryka Wyposażenia Wagonów GROWAG, Limatherm Sensor, Selectron Systems AG, Tech-Stal and UNI-TECH. Together with Skinest Ukraine and the Daugavpils Rolling Stock Repair Plant (Latvia) it has designed an innovative locomotive to increase reliability rates and reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. All the above-mentioned partners contribute to the avant-garde image of the company, which in turn translates into successes and business opportunities for all partners.
New contracts, new ideas NEWAG holds a strong position on the Polish locomotive market. In February this year, it signed a contract with a train operator from Lodz for 14 IMPULS II trains (the new generation EMUs) that will start to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2018. The gross value of the contract is almost PLN 267 million (€63.5 million). In May, NEWAG delivered three IMPULS Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) out of 16 ordered by the Marshal Office of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The agreement guarantees the delivery of 12 threecar EMUs and five four-car EMUs with the possibility to manufacture 13 additional trains. NEWAG will also provide a simulator to train a team of drivers in how to operate the new electric multiple units. In July, the company signed another contract to modernise 10 diesel locomotives. The first modernised locomotive will be supplied by the end of March 2018 with the remainder to be delivered by the end of 2018. The net value of the contract exceeds PLN 95 million (€22.6 million). Industry Europe 167
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One of the most challenging projects conducted by the company is the prototype for the world’s first family of autonomous, reconfigured, bimodal traction vehicles. This will be an electric traction unit with an attached unit equipped with power generator (s), power supply (ies), non-electrified traction units and DEPO. The hybrid traction unit will consist of a three-wire electric traction unit powered by a conventional 3 kV DC drive system and a power supply unit coupled with a Scharfenberg coupler. The attached module has motors that drive generating sets and the power generated by the aggregates will be transferred to the electric traction unit to power the traction motors on the bogies. Depending on the needs of the ordering party, the diesel propulsion module can either be equipped with a control cabin and a manoeuvring console at the rear of the unit, or only for manoeuvring units. An additional advantage is the lighter vehicle weight that will consequently reduce the operating costs of the module. The vehicle will be equipped with a state-of-the-art electric drive system that optimises energy consumption, regenerative braking and energy storage for use during subsequent starts. The total cost of the project is more than PLN 38.5 million (€9.2 million) and will be completed at the end of April, 2018.
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Supporting young talent NEWAG is well-known for its social initiatives. Recently, the company signed an agreement with the Sadecka Foundation to fund scholarships for gifted young people in the Nowy Sacz subregion in difficult financial situations. Earlier this year, it founded a scholarship programme called ‘Prodesse in posterum’ for students of the Cracow University of Technology. The goal is to support the most talented and committed students majoring in Management and Production Engineering, specialisation: Engineering of Mass Transport Means. In collaboration with NEWAG and other top companies from the rolling stock industry, the university has introduced a new specialist course in Rail Vehicle Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The course is a response to the high demand for engineers in the developing rail market. It will train students on the theoretical aspects as well as providing practical experience in the design, construction, technology, certification and operation of rail vehicles. For more info, visit: www.newag.pl
Flying high in airport handling systems Vanderlande Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacture of airport baggage handling and security systems. The company has been successful in moving into new markets with its latest generation of Scannojet® passenger checkpoints and high-tech handling systems, including its Automated Guided Vehicle® technology (AGV) which avoids the need for conveyors and sorting systems. Philip Yorke looks at a company that continues to outperform its competitors and extend its global reach.
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anderlande Industries was founded in Veghel, Netherlands in 1949 and began by manufacturing conveyer systems for the loading of agricultural produce onto ships, which were moored in the nearby waterways. Today the company is a global leader in automated handling technology and one of the largest and most advanced in the world. Its core businesses provide a wide range of fully automated material handling systems for baggage handling at airports, as well as for automation systems for warehouses and government postal distribution services. Vanderlande designs and installs material handling systems of all sizes, from local sorting depots to some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated distribution centres. All the company’s tailor-made systems and services are designed to improve its customers’ logistics processes, from the initial concept right through to total life-cycle support. Vanderlande’s services range from logistics concept and design, to engineering, software development, supply chain management and manufacturing. In recent years the company has extended its specialised service concepts to customers worldwide. This offers an important growth area as it includes pro-active maintenance, remote monitoring and diagnostics with a clear focus on end-to-end process performance.
Today Vanderlande is also able to transfer its diverse technologies to other operations, thus making it possible to excel in its three main areas of operation: baggage handling, warehouse automation and postal sorting systems.
Integrated solutions In July this year, Croatia’s main international airport at Split selected Vanderlande’s integrated solutions to provide it with new baggage handling systems, which will include the company’s advanced Vibe Software and life-cycle service packages. The unique, highly efficient system will be installed at the airport’s new terminal building with delivery planned for April 2018. Following its entry into the European Union in 2013, Croatia has seen a significant increase in tourism and last year Split Airport welcomed over 2.3 million travellers. In April this year volumes rose by more than 60 per cent compared to the same month last year. In order to be able to handle such dramatic growth, Split Airport decided to build a new terminal. It selected Vanderlande due to the company’s unrivalled industrial expertise and innovative handling solutions, which are ideally suited to match the airport’s future requirements.
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Logistics & Transport
Another major contract was awarded to the company recently when Tallinn airport in Lithuania chose Vanderlande to supply its latest generation of Scannojet® passenger checkpoints for its new security screening area. The company was ‘pre-selected’ for the contract based upon its reputation and expertise as a systems integrator offering the most cost-effective and efficient solutions. All of the airport’s five ‘Scannojet®’ lanes have been designed according to the latest operational insights and field experience. The new lanes will be equipped either with three or four parallel divestment stations, each with indicator lighting to guide passengers
swiftly through the checkpoint in an intuitive manner. Each divestment station is configured in such a way that people can use two trays beside each other, while divesting their belongings. This feature guarantees a constant flow of passengers and also provides peace of mind for travellers. Furthermore, operators are able to maintain a good overview of the complete passenger divestment process.
Unique solutions In September this year Vanderlande signed a contract to implement its new solutions for the baggage handling area at Lelystad Airport, which is part of the Schiphol Group. This unique system will utilise the company’s acclaimed Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) technology and includes a new self-drop system, as well as optimising the travel experience for passengers. The announcement comes at an important time in the history of Lelystad airport, which is located near Amsterdam and has been required to undergo a major phased upgrade in order to provide additional capacity and enhance its growing commercial activities. The new facilities must be completed by 2019. The all-new solution from Vanderlande will guarantee shorter project lead times and will consume up to 50 per cent less energy compared to traditional baggage handling systems. The special design will also mean that the equipment can be easily recycled, thus contributing to a circular economy. “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with our partner Viggo, who was rewarded with the contract for completion of the shellstate terminal and the provision for ten years of all related services at Lelystad airport,” said Vanderlande’s CTO Vincent Kwaks. Industry Europe 175
Logistics & Transport
Vitronic Logistics companies have high demands on the degree of automation for their processes. No matter which application - sorting, incoming and out-going inspection, material flow, storage, order picking or optimal utilization of transport capacities: The basis for optimizing logistical processes is the automated capture and processing of product-, package-, and customer-related data – easily, efficiently and transparently. VITRONIC Auto-ID systems capture and analyze all relevant information such as bar codes, 2D-codes, customer-specific codes and plain text (OCR) – even several different code types in one image – on up to six sides of different packages. The orientation of the package makes no difference, text and codes are captured even behind foil. Parallel, the volume and weight of the consignment is captured. Flexible operation according to your needs. Depending on individual requirements, data on packaging can be captured in a variety of camera-based methods and then utilized efficiently for downstream processes • Manual data capture – camera to goods • Semi-automatic data capture – goods to camera • Fully automatic data capture – inline VIPAC systems can be installed at any position along the entire process chain – including volume measurement, recognition of deformations and weighing – and guarantee maximum read rates.
“This is an excellent example of how Vanderlande is able to adapt its existing technology to create an entirely new solution. We’re confident that our innovative equipment, combined with new intelligent software applications, will provide maximum efficiencies to Lelystad and the wider aviation industry.” Vanderlande will also be presenting yet another new innovation, called ‘Fleet’, at the Inter Airport Europe 2017 exhibition in Munich, Germany in October, where live demonstrations will be available.
Expanding product portfolio In a move that will significantly enhance Vanderlande’s high-tech product portfolio, the company announced that it had acquired the leading Canadian software company, ‘Optosecurity’, in June this year. The acquisition strengthens Vanderlande’s integrated portfolio of solutions and its position as market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports. Optosecurity’s software is unique and offers a market-leading platform for remote screening and data integration. The combination of this intelligent software and Vanderlande’s automated passenger checkpoint solutions presents the opportunity for the new partnership to become the leading integrator of passenger screening processes at airports worldwide. For further details of Vanderlande’s innovative integrated handling systems, visit: www.vandelande.com Industry Europe 177
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Quality and reliability are the cornerstones of Elsan Elektrik’s success over more than three decades. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to director Osman Ozgur Gul to learn more.
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
the flagship company of Turkey’s Bereket Enerji Grup Holding (BEG), Elsan Elektrik has grown steadily and successfully since it was founded in 1980. The last eight years in particular have seen intensive investment, solidifying Elsan’s market leading position in its core business of aluminium wires, both in its domestic Turkish market and across Europe. Elsan is also enjoying considerable growth in North America and Canada, with its well-deserved reputation for quality wires allowing for strong growth. Director Osman Ozgur Gul spoke to Industry Europe to explain more about how Elsan Elektrik has grown strategically over the past 37 years. “Our market share has gradually grown over the years. Our main aim has always been to produce high quality material for our A+ customers. As a solid, stable company, we have always focused on ensuring that our customers receive the best product; we offer significant assurance with our aluminium wires. All our customers know that Elsan aluminium wires are high quality materials that will support their business and perform to their high expectations.”
Meeting expectations Today, Elsan’s production capacity has reached 50,000MT and it has a turnover of USD 100 million, which represents three per cent of BEG’s turnover. Elsan employs around 350 people across its three facilities, which together makes Elsan one of Europe’s biggest wire manufacturers. Mr Gul continued, “We produce high quality standard wires that are designed and developed to meet the highest expectations of our customers. We do not generally offer customised products so it means that we can be fully committed to manufacturing the precise aluminium wires that are generally required across the industries of our customers.” It is this high quality, standard product approach that characterises the continuous success of Elsan. Mr Gul explained, “This is why our R&D department is focused on the product, the aluminium wires. It’s not about innovation, but rather it’s about processing, about improving, about getting the best result for our customers. Increasing quality and productivity is always the direction we are heading in; it’s why customers choose us again and again.” Industry Europe 179
In fact, Mr Gul told Industry Europe that the company refers to its customers as ‘partners’, highlighting its mutually-beneficial long-term relationships. He continued, “Our sector is not easy to break into and it is certainly not easy to gain, satisfy and keep long-term customers. That is very much why we refer to our customers as partners; we rely on their honesty with us in order to guarantee that we produce the exact aluminium wires that their productivity depends on. It takes time and dedication to create these long-term relationships. We now supply partners in over 30 countries worldwide and we’re proud to say that working with Elsan is very appealing for customers; we try to make it easy to work with us. Our products are reliable, high quality and exactly what our customers need.”
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Good locations The three Elsan Elektrik facilities are based in Europe, with the two main plants located in Denizli in Turkey and the third in Hagen, Germany, following its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Heermann GmbH, which Mr Gul described as ‘a deeply rooted company with more than 115 years of experience in the magnet wire industry’ – a clearly complementary strategic acquisition. The product portfolio at Elsan Elektrik includes enamelled round and flat copper wires, enamelled round aluminium wires, paper tape-covered wires and litz wires. Both the copper and aluminium products vary from super-fine to thick sizes and diameters. The most popular sectors for the use of these products are electrical motors, transformers and white goods, with Elsan working with many of the leading names in these industries. Mr Gul noted that the ongoing investment and focus on quality means that Elsan’s success is set to continue into its next chapter. He concluded, “Some of our suppliers and partners have been with us since the very start of our operation and we have strong bonds with our partners both new and established. We look forward to seeing our company stay on top of the market through growth, reliability and providing high quality products that helps our partners’ productivity. In terms of sales capacity, we aim to grow by around 10 per cent year on year for the next three years, with the majority of this growth being organic. Our large investments over the previous years are certainly coming to fruition now and we will also still be making some investments. As a company that has long enjoyed being at the top of our market, we are certainly expecting to continue being the leading player in the aluminium and copper wire industry, particularly as we will continue with our passion for moving up, growing, plann ning...we don’t expect to stand still!”
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Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Your chosen partner in sheet metal manufacturing Stansefabrikken has gone through many phases and events during its 30 years in the sheet metal industry. The company has experienced its up and downs following national and international economic cycles. However, it has mainly been on a steady path of growth and profitability driven by hard work and ambition on the part of its enthusiastic employees and owners.
tansefabrikken was established in 1985 with one operating company, 9.1 MNOK in turnover and 27 employees. Today the group consist of several subsidiaries, has an annual turnover above 300 MNOK (2016) and up to 370 employees coming from Norway, Sweden and Lithuania. Stansefabrikken decided to establish production abroad in the summer of 2002. Its choice was Ukmergė, a middle sized industrial city in central Lithuania. Today the leading provider of sheet metal processing companies in Lithuania, Stansefabrikken UAB – a subsidiary of a Norwegian Stafa Industrier AS – is currently operating in four market segments: sub-supply of sheet metal products; automotive stamping; development and sale of fuse cabinets and post-boxes; and rental services in the industrial park.
The Stafa Industrier group is a financially solid, modern, wellstructured organisation. The Stafa Group companies are primarily offering services and products within the sheet metal manufacturing business, with a vision of building long-term relationships and providing customers with highly cost-efficient solutions to meet the most challenging requirements. Quality and delivery precision is considered a prerequisite. Group companies are certified according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and TS/ISO 16949.
Partner for OEM companies, aerospace and automotive Stansefabrikken is one of the three group companies located in Lithuania. It is capable of producing almost any kind of sheet metal product made to specifications in high and medium volumes. The
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company supplies products in all stages, from design to the finished item, using modern CNC laser cutting, punching, bending, welding and robot welding equipment. Its manufacturing facilities also include two automated powder-coating lines. A fully automated process of pre-treatment with oxilan ensures consistent and high-quality coating results. In addition, the company offers comprehensive assembly and packing-to-shop services. As a sheet metal parts producer and supplier, Stansefabrikken makes sure its products are professionally assembled and packaged. In addition, it can offer engineering, design and prototyping services via its subsidiary in Fredrikstad (Norway) – Stansefabrikken Fredrikstad AS. A young and dynamic team of Norwegian and Lithuanian designers, engineers, project leaders and managers has been involved in a variety of projects that enable its customers and partners to develop new products and achieve the desired results. Stafa Industrier has decided to put a greater focus on its products for the automotive industry. Therefore, in 2007 it opened a new factory to produce stamped metal automotive parts: Stansefabrikken Automotive UAB. Investments were made in modern equipment and one of the most powerful presses in the Baltic States. The company is compliant with the highest standards and strictest requirements within the automotive industry. Stansefabrikken Automotive operates the biggest punching line with a 1300-tonne press accommodating punches of up to 30 tonnes and parts measuring up to 4500 x 1800mm. The company is manufacturing car parts from soft steel of up to 12mm in thickness and 1600mm in width. Another advantage is that the 1300-tonne press is technologically linked with a degreasing line. This ensures short production leads and effective cost control. Consistent work and attention to detail has helped the Stafa Group companies build a reputation as reliable partners, allowing them to win the trust of such famous companies as ABB, Bang & Olufsen, CENIKA, BICO, GKN Aerospace and others. The sheet metal products are mainly used as components of safety-critical
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systems such as steering columns, breaking control systems, instrumental panels and tow bars for car manufacturers such as Opel, Nissan, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, VW and Audi.
Industrial facilities for modern production The modern industrial park Ukmergės Pramonės Parkas UAB is located in Lithuania, in the grounds of a former gear factory, and occupies an area of more than 5.3 ha. It houses the Stafa group companies mentioned above, as well as external companies. The vision behind the group’s creation of the park was to offer industrial premises with common facilities and services, which are well-suited to modern production. Currently the fully developed industrial park can offer 22,000m2 of renovated office and production space. A total of seven enterprises currently operate in the industrial park. “Our goal is to become a top-level service provider in the sheet metal industry, supplying customers with top-quality products. To achieve this, we continuously expand our expertise by developing our staff, investing into the upgrading of equipment and introducing the latest technologies, as well as focusing on being more efficient,” says Nerijus Mašalas, managing director of Stansefabrikken UAB.
Focus on efficiency Stansefabrikken is constantly updating its operations to achieve greater efficiency. The greatest improvements in efficiency have been down to the efforts of its internal ‘S-TEAM’ which consists of heads of production departments, as well as to its implementation of the ‘Stop’ analysis. A Norwegian parent company ‘Stafa Industrier’ has been assisting the group in the implementation of its efficiency improvement project. “We had to change the process flow in the factory, as well as the working principals, and this proved to be the right decision – and not just because of the increase in the available space. We rearranged the manufacturing process itself and increased the output – now the operator is working on the manufacturing of the product, while another set-up n operator is adjusting the machine tools,” explained Mr Mašalas.
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
Creating the stainless steels of tomorrow Outokumpu is the global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced stainless steel materials. The company continues to increase its competitive edge through a combination of innovation and consistent high quality. Ground-breaking container tanks and validated aerospace bar products are considered ‘game-changers’ by many, as Philip Yorke reports for Industry Europe.
utokumpu was founded in Finland in 1910 as a result of the discovery of a rich copper ore deposit in eastern Finland. Over the years, Outokumpu has evolved from a mining and multi-metal company to the global leader in stainless steel. The company as it is known today was formed through the acquisition of Avesta Sheffield in 2001 and Inoxum in 2012, the stainless steel arm of Thyssenkrupp. The company has been instrumental in developing the stainless steel industry into what it is today. Outokumpu’s production facilities cover all continents and are located in Finland, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, the UK and the USA. It also has a global sales and service network located close to its key OEM customers. Today Outokumpu is organised into three distinct business units: Europe, Americas and Long Products. Each business sector is represented in the company’s leadership team with sales, production and profit responsibility. In addition, its business support functions serve these areas to ensure the most efficient global processes for its customers.
In 2016 Outokumpu recorded sales of almost €6 billion and achieved stainless steel deliveries of 2,444,000 tonnes. Currently the company employs over 10,000 professionals in more than 30 countries worldwide with headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, and shares listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.
Revolutionary flexibility Finland’s leading Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tank manufacturer, LNGTainer, has recently launched a revolutionary new cryogenic tank which brings together two Innovations: LNGT’s game-changing tank container and Outokumpu’s unique austenitic stainless steel grade, Supra 316+ (EN1.4420, UNS S31655). “The most revolutionary aspect of LNGT’s new tank container is that its structure includes a unique, light and flexible inside tank as well as a special outside pressure vessel. For the lightweight inside tank the manufacturer needed a superior stainless steel with very special properties. The only specification that could meet LNGT’s challenging requirements was Outokumpu’s Supra 316plus stainless steel grade.
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With the new patented structure and Outokumpu’s unique materials, the weight of the tank could be reduced by as much as 30 per cent and capacity increased by more than 15 per cent. Due to the fact that the weight of the inside tank is substantially lower than that of competing tanks of this size, the cooling-off time inside the tank is also considerably shorter. LNGTainer initially considered using aluminium for the inside tank, however when the unique properties of Outokumpu’s Supra 316plus were compared with it, it was clear that it offered a whole range of additional benefits. These included better low temperature properties, as well as greater strength and ductility. Outokumpu’s Supra 316plus has a higher chromium and nitrogen content, with less nickel and molybdenum. Thanks to its optimised composition, the grade also has exceptional corrosion resistance and its performance is far superior to conventional grades when temperatures drop to low cryogenic levels. Furthermore, the price of this special steel grade is both competitive and stable.
Aerospace steels take off In August this year, Outokumpu announced that its bar operations in the US had received the coveted LCS (Laboratory Control at Source) approval for aerospace applications, manufactured at its Richburg Mill in South Carolina. LCS is the system that validates the testing and control of specified materials and processes used in Pratt & Whitney’s aerospace products. Pratt & Whitney is a global leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. “We are very pleased that our bar products have been validated by Pratt & Whitney, which demonstrates the quality of both our materials and production processes. This approval opens the doors to Outukumpu as a supplier of high performance stainless steel bar 188 Industry Europe
in the demanding and growing aerospace market,” said Bob Beatty, head of Outukumpu bar operations in Richburg, South Carolina. Outokumpu serves the North American market through its key service and centre partners there and enjoys a strong reputation in this market as a premium producer of high performance bars with unique know-how in stainless steel applications and materials performance. Outokumpu has over a century of experience in the creation of efficient, long-lasting and recyclable stainless steel products. Its global offering includes quality-critical long products for equipment, buildings and infrastructure products. The company’s long products sites are located in the US, the UK and Sweden and are well known for their high quality, flexibility and world-class delivery performance. n For further details of Outokumpu’s innovative, high quality stainless steel products and services visit: www.outokumpu.com
Metals, Metalworking & Mining
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Pioneering pipe and tube technologies TMK-Artrom is a Romanian industrial pipe and tube manufacturer with a significant share of the European market for seamless tubes. The company is part of the TMK Group, a global leader in the design and manufacture of tubular products particularly for the oil, gas and automotive industries. Philip Yorke reports on a dynamic company that continues to lead the field with its revolutionary industrial tube and pipe technologies.
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Metals, Metalworking & Mining
MK is one of the world’s major producers of tubular products for the oil and gas industry as well as for many others. Since 2009, it has been ranked number one in the world by the volume of pipes delivered. The company’s pipe shipments in 2016 totalled over 4 million tons. Located in the south of Romania in Slatina city, TMK-Artrom is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the TMK Group. It specialises in the production of high-precision industrial seamless steel pipes utilised for a broad range of industrial applications, and made from materials including carbon, low alloy and alloy steel. The company makes pipes for high temperature boilers, the automotive industry and seamless pipes for the oil industry. TMK-Artrom also creates dedicated pipes for water and gas installations, as well as grinding pipes and roller burnished pipes for cylinder production.
New heat treatment technology TMK-Artrom has developed a unique heat treatment line that offers a number of value-added benefits. An austenitizing furnace with a walking-beam transport system, a spray quenching head
and tank, a tempering furnace, cooling bed and hot-straightening machine are all assets to the latest investment project. In addition, a new water treatment plant ensures stability of the line with a minimum level of water wastage. This innovative treatment process is able to treat tubes with a wall thickness of up to 60mm and capable of delivering over 160,000 tons per annum. Thanks to its high product flexibility, the heat treatment facility is also suitable for the cost-effective processing of small batch sizes for a variety of product groups. This advanced treatment line strengthens TMK-Artrom’s market presence and offers customers higher grade tubes for mechanical operations as well as for oil and gas exploration applications.
Continued investment programme TMK-Artrom operates a continuous investment programme for new plant and process technologies and recently commissioned a new state-of-the-art workshop in Slatina, Romania. This has been designed to produce high precision pipes for the automotive industry and hydraulic cylinder production. The opening
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ceremony of the new plant was attended by the Romanian State Secretary for economy, Popa Maricel and local dignitaries of the Slatina principality. With its cutting-edge equipment, the workshop is set to process the inner surface of cold-formed seamless pipes by the method of skiving and roller-burnishing. The products manufactured will be used to manufacturethe hydraulic cylinders widely utilised in the production of hoisting machinery as well as automotive and avionics industries. As a result, TMK-Artron is now poised to expand into new global markets. This new high-tech facility also the company with another competitive advantage and the workshop has a capacity of more than 25,000 metric tons of pipes per annum. The production line offers a high level of automation and integration, utilising the company’s ERP software providing a much wider range of speciality pipes. This is an ultra-modern and flexible heat treatment linewhich is able to perform all types of heat treatment required for the production of high-precision products. The raw materials required for these high precision tubes are produced at the company’s own TMK-Resita plant in Romania, where a wide variety of steel grades are manufactured. At this plant, the products can be vacuum degassed and any impurities eliminated. In addition, nitrogen and hydrogen can also be greatly reduced to ensure that the products meet the most stringent demands of the world’s automotive and oil and gas industries.
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Integrated management system Adding to the overall efficiency of its manufacturing processes, the company has also implemented and certified a highly efficient and fully integrated quality management system based on the latest ISO 9001 protocols and environmental management systems. According to ISO 14001, these certifications are maintained in addition to the company’s own work safety standard certification, ISO 18001. These unique, integrated management systems are continuously maintained and developed via a process of on-going improvements and are independently audited. For many years, TMK has enjoyed strong market positions in the seamless pipes sector with its sales representing more than 10 per cent of the global market. Today, TMK’s clients include leading automotive brands, as well as gas companies, such as Shell, ENI, Total, Exxon Mobile, Occidental Petroleum, Gazprom, Saudi Aramco and Lukoil among many others. The company’s major presence in world markets is secured by its extensive sales network that covers virtually all main global oil and gas producing regions in the US, Canada, Russia and the CIS, the Middle East, North and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as South East Asia and subSaharan Africa. The company operates more than 30 manufacturing sites in the US. Canada, Romania, Oman and Kazakhstan. For further details of TMK-Artrom’s high-precision seamless tubes and pipes visit: www.tmk-artrom.eu
Innovation at its core
Dedicated to developing and manufacturing innovative paper cores for the packaging film industry, Sonoco Alcore is proudly leading the way with its latest offer. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to the commercial and technical segment managers, Gary Morgan and David Van Hove, to learn more.
onoco Alcore creates a broad range of tube and core solutions for its customers across the paper, film, man-made fibre yarn, metal and construction industries. It is part of the global Sonoco family, one of the world’s leading providers of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and supply chain services. Acknowledged as the leader in ‘high-quality, innovative, value-creating tubes and core solutions’, Sonoco Alcore’s production of tube and core solutions for such a wide variety of markets means it is divided into different product-focused segments. Packaging Europe spoke to commercial segment manager Gary Morgan and technical segment manager David Van Hove, the two driving forces behind the dedicated film segment of Sonoco Alcore, who have been integral in the division’s impressive growth in recent years. Gary Morgan began: “We are very excited about the continued potential of the film industry in terms of our expertise in paper core solutions, which is why David and I have been highly active in establishing ourselves as a dedicated division for Sonoco Alcore. Back in 2012, David and I realised that Sonoco Alcore did not have a team 194 Industry Europe
specifically focused on the plastic film sector and we saw great potential in the market. We therefore created a solid strategy to maximise the opportunities we identified across Europe and, by marrying Sonoco Alcore’s traditional strengths and expertise along with our innovative product development capabilities, we have successfully captured much of Europe’s growing film market.”
Positive strategy This positive strategy has proved successful for Sonoco Alcore’s film division in the four years it has been active. Mr Morgan also attributes this partly to the strong foundations he and Mr Van Hove had to build on. He continued, “Sonoco Alcore is very much the market’s technical leader in the production of tubes and cores for the various different segments we serve. We have a unique approach: our technical team works with our engineering, production, quality and sales teams. Working together like this ensures we create the best solution for our customers. Our position as the technical leader in our field is certainly what drives our constant innovation.”
PAPER, PACKAGING & PRINTING
This constant innovation is what has led to the development of Sonoco Alcore’s film division’s unique Radial Crush testing technology – one of the most essential tools to fully optimise many of the paper cores used in the film industry. David Van Hove explained, “Radial Crush Technology allows us to predict and measure the relevant strength properties of paper cores for applications where elastic materials are being wound on them (which is the case for many products from both the film and textile segments). This method, contrary to the historic flat crush measurement, is often much more important and allows us to optimise cores for cost/performance.” He went on: “It has far more relevant measurement parameters and it’s patented too, as it specifically replicates the kinds of forces and deformations a paper core is undergoing when the film is being wound onto the core. Sonoco in the US manufactures the testing equipment and sells it both internally and externally (worldwide).” With the patent of this particular core technology expiring a couple of years ago, Mr Van Hove noted that Sonoco now also supplies the measuring equipment to the market. He continued: “We don’t really want to share our design expertise; in fact this is something we maintain internally; however, we want to share this testing method, as it will benefit the industry by providing a much more relevant state-ofthe-art technology, which we hope will become the industry standard. “Testing is so integral to what we do. We regularly visit our customers so we know how they’re using our products and we conduct many tests on the strength properties of the core, both in the lab and in real life conditions. Historically, our industry used flat crush testing but the issue with that is it measures different kinds of deformations to those generally occurring in these applications (winding of elastic materials on paper cores). Our innovative Radial Crush technology helps us to further optimise our cores for our customers. “One of the biggest issues for the film industry is core crushing, which can cause machine downtime and add waste and cost for customers. Our dedicated film division provides innovative cores that use the latest testing technologies to deliver excellent core crushing resistance to meet the challenges of this issue.”
Impressive portfolio Radial Crush testing is part of Sonoco Alcore’s film division portfolio, alongside a number of film cores that have been specifically designed to manage the stresses and pressures experienced during
winding, handling, storage and unwinding of various film types. The film varieties addressed include polyethylene, polypropylene, bi-oriented polypropylene, polyester and polyvinyl chloride, giving the company a broad yet focused portfolio. Alongside the Radial Crush approach, Sonoco Alcore also offers the Dricore NG, a rain resistant paper core which has been extremely successful in the agricultural/silage film market where all of the main producers of these films have converted from plastic cores to the Dricore NG bringing them significant savings as a result; and the Intellicore RFID, which helps companies to optimise inventories thanks to its imbedded RFID technology. High performance cores are also offered for expensive and/or sensitive films as they demand very smooth surface, excellent straightness and superior dimensional stability; even though these cores are still paper, they are so completely smooth they look almost like plastic. Mr Morgan and Mr Van Hove’s clear dedication to providing a market-leading solution for core technology across the global film industry mean the outlook for the next few years looks just as positive for the film division. Mr Morgan concluded, “Our ongoing commitment to the plastic film industry is just as strong as when we were establishing our special division in 2012. We have a clear understanding of the needs of the market and are continually talking honestly to our customers to make sure we know exactly what they need and how we can utilise our experience and capabilities to n address their needs.” Should you wish to contact Mr Morgan directly to find out how Sonoco Alcore can help your film business to optimise its paper core needs please contact email@example.com Visit: www.sonocoalcore.com
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Yunsa is a global leader in the development and manufacture of high quality, eco-friendly fabrics. Founded in 1973, it has grown to become one of the world’s top producers of worsted textiles and Europe’s largest integrated producer and exporter of fabrics. Philip Yorke takes a closer look at a company that continues to drive industry standards forward and is a pioneer in the quest for more sustainable, eco-friendly products and processes.
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Textiles, Home & Personal Care
unsa was founded in Turkey in 1973 and is a major European success story, exporting its products to more than 50 countries through its global network of sales agents. The company manufactures all its textiles in-house in an extensive, state-of-the-art and fully integrated facility in Cerkezkoy, Turkey. Currently it has an annual production of more than 14km of worsted wool fabric and 4.5 tonnes of yarn. A large proportion of Yunsa’s woven fabrics are composed of 100 per cent pure wool, in addition to its wool-cashmere, silk, cashmere silk, Lycra, polyester and viscose blends. As a cutting-edge company, Yunsa is fully certified to the ISO 9001, ISO14001 and ISO50001 standards.
Broad range of sustainable initiatives Yunsa has always been at the forefront of the global drive for more sustainable and biodegradable products and devotes a significant proportion of its turnover to R&D in this area. “We are currently developing wool-PET blend products using recycled PET polyester yarns. We have collections available with 10–20 per cent RPET in general composition. New developments have resulted in the inclusion of higher percentages of recycled materials without any detrimental effect on their quality,” said Sinan Yorgancigil, Yunsa’s marketing manager. “We also recycle our wool waste that comes from the combing process and spin the wool using our own special technologies. On aver-
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age we are able to use 25 per cent recycled wool while maintaining optimal quality and colour fastness. We are also able to use non-muleised wool in our products with full observation of animal rights. In addition, we produce our own dye stuffs from walnut shell, pomegranate peel, mint leaves and other such natural sources. We dye 100 per cent of our wool products, which are environmentally friendly and non-toxic. “What’s more, our self-cleaning fabrics use organic products that can eliminate stains under exposure to daylight. This special fabric is also antibacterial and has a carbon-free water-repellent function. The goal here is to decrease usage of detergents and chemical cleaning agents, thereby saving water and energy resources,” added Yorgancigil.
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The company’s modern textile mill also subscribes to a greater focus on conservation and sustainability. Water is accumulated from rainfall and then refined to use on its production lines, of which over 70 per cent is re-used. In addition, Yunsa’s R&D department is working on a project which will reduce its total water usage by as much as 50 per cent. Furthermore, Yunsa was the first Turkish company to register for carbon footprint reporting. Yorgancigil commented, “We take sustainability seriously and are taking part in a major EU project aiming to achieve the industrialisation of biodegradable and sustainable fabrics. Our vision is to grow by making a difference in textile products and services. We pursue innovative product development, new technologies and process development strategies through continuous development programmes and creativity throughout the workplace.”
Textiles, Home & Personal Care
Innovation driving sales Yunsa’s extensive R&D facilities were involved in more than 260 national and internationally funded projects last year. The mission of its R&D centre is to establish Yunsa as a pioneer, as well as a competitive and value-creating company offering a diverse range of textiles. The continuous programme of development and creativity has paid dividends for the company by increasing the global demand for its products and enhancing its position in the manufacture of speciality fabrics for use in casual, protective and work-wear clothing. Today Yunsa has an enviable customer base which includes many famous global brand customers such as Hugo Boss, Armani, Joop, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Massimo Dutti, Max Mara, Ann Taylor and Versace to name but a few. Product categories include high quality fabrics for menswear, womenswear, corporate wear and for n many upholstery applications. For further details of Yunsa’s innovative and eco-friendly textiles visit: www.yunsa.com Industry Europe 199
adhesive solutions H.B. Fuller is a leading global adhesives provider, focused on creating innovative adhesive solutions for a broad range of manufacturing industries. The company has seen consistent growth for more than 130 years. Philip Yorke reports on its latest innovative products, recent acquisitions and continuing global expansion.
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also in this issue...
.B. Fuller was founded in 1887 by Harvey Benjamin Fuller as a one-man wallpaper paste shop. Initially incorporated as the Fuller manufacturing company, in 1915 the company was reincorporated as the H.B. Fuller Company. Elmer Anderson, who would later become the governor of Minnesota, served as the company’s CEO in the 1940s and finally stepped down as chairperson in 1992. H.B. Fuller became a publicly held company in 1968 and was listed on the NYSE. Today the company is headquartered in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, USA, and in 2016 recorded sales of more than $2.28 billion.
Strengthening core business As a global leader in speciality chemicals, H.B. Fuller continues to strengthen its focus on innovative industrial adhesives. Since 2004 the company has adopted a strategy that involved a period of rationalisation where it dispensed with low-profit product lines and removed unprofitable markets from its portfolio in order to focus on higher, more value-added speciality market segments. This has continued to pay dividends in terms of both profitability and efficiency. In Europe the company is investing heavily
in highly qualified people and new technologies to enhance its reputation for safety, product consistency and service. The Fuller Group’s EIMEA Packaging business also continues to expand globally and currently represents more than 25 per cent of total sales, which are primarily generated from adhesive applications in container packaging applications. New developments are focused on trouble-free adhesive solutions that often involve innovative new products and ground-breaking delivery systems. One of the most notable new products to emerge from the company’s R&D laboratories is its Sesame High Modulous Tape, used for the reinforcement of boxes, trays and bins.
Strategic acquisitions In July this year, H.B. Fuller agreed to purchase Adecol Ind. Quimica Limitada, a highly respected manufacturer of quality adhesive technologies based in Brazil. Adecol works closely with its broad base of customers to develop new, high quality hot-melt reactive and polymer-based adhesive solutions for customers in the packaging, converting and assembly markets. Headquartered in Guarulhos, Brazil, in
2016 it generated revenues of more than $40 million. Adecol is the largest manufacturer of industrial adhesives in Brazil and has developed a broad and flexible product portfolio capable of serving many of the world’s growing niche markets. This includes everything from automobile manufacturing to the packaging sector, where the company produces over 1.5 thousand tonnes of adhesives per month. “With this acquisition we will further enhance our business in Brazil by partnering with customers to produce new and better durable goods in this dynamic region,” said Jim Owens, H.B. Fuller’s president and CEO. “H.B. Fuller has a strategic focus on growing our business in emerging markets, and the Adecol team has deep marketing knowledge and local manufacturing capabilities that will enable us to partner more closely with customers and to grow in Brazil and across Latin America. We look forward to welcoming employees of Adecol to the H.B. Fuller team.”
Accelerating strategic objectives On 5 September this year, the H.B. Fuller company accelerated its strategic objectives yet further for the year 2020 with
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a major acquisition that will significantly enhance shareholder value and growth in the high-value speciality adhesives sector. The major $1.575 billion acquisition of the Royal Adhesives and Sealants Company will generate an additional $650 million in revenue and $138 million in adjusted EBITDA for H.B. Fuller’s fiscal year in 2017. Currently Royal Adhesives operates 19 manufacturing facilities in 5 countries and employs more than 1500 people worldwide. The company is a leading supplier of industrial adhesives in a diverse range of markets including aerospace, transportation, commercial roofing, insulating glass, solar, packaging and flooring applications. This range of products complements those already included in Fuller’s broad portfolio of industrial adhesive products that cover everything from construction and personal hygiene to packaging, automotive, woodworking and electronics among many others. With this significant, strategic acquisition the company will gain new production technologies and add people skills that will result in a more capable and dynamic company for customers and employees.
Leadership in ethical practices The H.B. Fuller Company has been recognised by the Ethisphere Institute for many years as one of the world’s most ethical companies. This leading international organisation is dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, governance, anti-corruption and sustainability. H.B. Fuller is honoured to be recognised alongside other renowned and respected industry leaders from all over the world. “Acting with integrity and doing the right thing in all of our business practices is fundamental to H.B. Fuller’s philosophy of winning the right way. I am very pleased to receive this recognition of our business principles and practices,” said Owen. “Being
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named one of the world’s most ethical companies by Ethisphere affirms H.B. Fuller’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of ethics, citizenship, corporate responsibility and governance.” Alex Bingham, executive director of Ethisphere, added, “We are excited to see
the world’s most ethical companies take these leadership positions and embrace the correlation between ethical behaviour and improved financial performance.” For further details of H.B. Fuller’s innovative products and services visit: www.hbfuller.com
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also in this issue...
Furniture for people
Szynaka-Meble (Szynaka-Furniture), headquartered in Lubawa, is Poland’s leading furniture manufacturer. It successfully combines business with quality, safety and environmental protection, both in terms of the furniture and implemented processes. This year the company celebrates its 60th anniversary. Dariusz Balcerzyk reports.
zynaka-Meble has been cultivating strong values and traditions for four generations. Each of its products is signed by the name of Mr Szynaka, which emphasises the personal responsibility of the owners for maintaining the highest quality standards. The Szynaka-Meble mission is to build the image of a furniture manufacturer and business partner that cares about the quality of the furniture and sales services, occupational health and safety, and the environment. Its motto: ‘Szynaka-Meble, always close to people’, illustrates the special attention it pays to customers’ and employees’ satisfaction. Its market success is determined by its ability to take advantage of opportunities associated with new projects. Decisions on new investments and new products have always been well thought over.
From small craft business to international player The company’s history goes back to the 1957, when it was a small craft business run by Mr Jan Szynaka senior. The next stage in its development began in 1985, when its current chairman of the board, Mr Jan Szynaka, took over his father’s factory and four years later moved it to the newly built 800-metre production hall specialising in the production of natural birch furniture. Three years later another hall was built, twice the size of the previous one. In 2001 the Szynaka-Meble brand was established, and the furniture group was growing steadily: in 2003, it acquired the Wolsztyn Furniture Factory, a leading manufacturer of kitchen furniture. In 2007 a new production facility was built in Nowe Miasto Lubawskie and two other entities were established: MM Szynaka
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Living in Ilawa and MM Szynaka Interline in Nowe Miasto Lubawskie. In 2012, the group expanded with the establishment of a Logistics Centre in Ilawa with a warehouse area of over 42,000m2 and an Exhibition Centre measuring 1400m2, in which fair and training events are organised. In 2012 the group bought modern production lines, machining centres and packaging lines and introduced a new brand of kitchen furniture, ‘Moelke’. Following this, a professional Conference and Training Centre was established in a historic mansion in Mortegi near
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Lubawa. In 2014 a new production hall and an innovative line to produce furniture elements were put into operation. The following year, a modern Furniture Industry Centre in Lubawa was opened.
Strong furniture group Today, the Szynaka Group consists of six modern production plants located in Lubawa, Ilawa, Nowe Miasto Lubawskie and Wolsztyn, a Logistic and Exhibition Centre and Conference Centre. Their total combined area is more than 500,000m², which corresponds to the
also in this issue... Egger Serdeczne gratulacje i wyrazy uznania kierujemy do naszego strategicznego Partnera - GRUPY MEBLOWEJ SZYNAKA - z okazji jubileuszu 60-lecia istnienia Firmy. Z tej okazji pragniemy serdecznie podziękować za dotychczasową, owocną współpracę oraz życzyć dalszych sukcesów w dążeniu do wyznaczonych celów. Ponadto mamy nadzieję, że nasze stosunki przez kolejne lata będą pomyślnie rozwijały się. Niech 60 - letnia rocznica działalności Firmy stanowi dla Państwa źródło siły i inspiracji do dalszego rozwoju i funkcjonowania przedsiębiorstwa. Z Grupą Meblową Szynaka wiąże nas długoletnia współpraca, zarówno w zakresie sprzedaży produktów, jak i w zakresie promocji dobrego designu oraz rożnorodnych funkcjonalnych rozwiązań przestrzeni kuchennych. Szczególnie cenimy wspólnie prowadzone od kilku lat spotkania dla architektów i projektantów, na których dzielimy się naszymi spotrzeżeniami w zakresie projektowania wnętrz, prezentujemy aktualne trendy kolorystyczne i wzornicze. Działając wspólnie z GRUPĄ MEBLOWĄ SZYNAKA ułatwiamy projektowanie i zagospodarowanie wnętrz kuchennych, a tym samym pozostajemy bliżej ludzi.
size of 70 football pitches. The Szynaka Group benefits from the support of EU funds for the purchase of technological infrastructure, research, training, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions. Szynaka-Meble is a leader in the production of high quality furniture. Its unique, strong brand coupled with a broadly developed sales policy and cooperation with global and national retail chains such as IKEA, CASTORAMA, CONFORAM and BEGA ensures its high market position and guarantees global marketability. The company’s annual sales are estimated at nearly PLN 1 billion (more than €238 million), almost 60 per cent of which comes from exports. Every year, more than ten million units of furniture are sold abroad. The company’s business activities are conducted in more than 50 countries around the world. Its foreign markets include: Germany, France, Great Britain, USA, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
Beauty around us
dining rooms, hotels and offices. The company’s offer includes two main product lines: Prestigeline is an exclusive range of solid wood and veneered furniture for the most demanding customers, while Trendline combines functionality and modern design. WFM is also a well-recognised brand worldwide: its kitchens combine modern design with the highest quality and carefully selected materials. An individual approach to customer demands and the use of the latest technological achievements are hallmarks of WFM. According to Szynaka Furniture Group, beauty lies in every part of the interior, and all that is needed is to extract its potential skillfully. All furniture is created in response to customer needs, in line with the latest global trends. Owing to the variety of projects available in the company’s offerings, customers can create their rooms according to their individual needs. Its many years of experience and a constant dedication to creating beautiful and functional furniture have ensured that Szynaka-Meble’s products stand out against other offers available on the market.
Szynaka-Meble offers a wide range of furniture with versatile features, creating a unique atmosphere for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms,
For more information, visit: www.szynaka.pl
Mr Jan Szynaka, Charman of the Management Board
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